Turn off the lights!
By Dr. Helena Popovic, Medical Doctor, International Speaker and leading authority on improving brain function
I’m sure you’re aware that bright evening lights and using screens close to bedtime make it harder to fall asleep. Research from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago has now shown that even low levels of light while we sleep raises our heart rate, blood glucose and insulin, thus increasing our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
What constitutes low levels of light? A bedside lamp, keeping the TV on or street lights shining through thin curtains. Participants in the study spent two nights in a sleep laboratory. On the first night they all slept in a dark room. On the second night, half of them slept in a room with a low level of light (<100 lux). On both mornings, everyone had their blood sugar and insulin measured. Those who’d slept in the light room saw a rise in their glucose and insulin, while those who’d spent both nights in a dark room saw no change. Even though participants did not report any noticeable difference in the quality of their sleep, their brain was nonetheless affected.
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