If you’re often having difficulty falling asleep, you likely have a few go-to options: teas, pills, creams, apps, etc. Some even go through therapy to overcome sleeplessness. What if you could use the very lights that keep you awake to make you feel drowsy? It may sound odd, but there are already sleep-friendly lights designed to help you sleep.
The Science Behind Sleep-Friendly Lights
We’re all exposing ourselves to varying degrees of artificial light every day and such exposure may affect us in different ways. For instance, stare at the bright, bluish light from your TV or smartphone and you’ll probably feel less sleepy at night.
You’re also probably aware that light wrecks your circadian rhythm, that internal clock that tells your body when it’s time to sleep, eat, or wake up. That’s why doctors have been telling us time and again to turn off the lights if the mission is to catch some zzz’s.
So why do artificial lights make us less drowsy? It’s because they emanate a bluish light that signals the body to stop producing melatonin—a hormone that’s largely credited for helping you doze off. Sleep-friendly lights don’t produce that bluish tinge so your sleeping pattern doesn’t get disrupted.
What makes that possible is the fact that such fixtures are built with filters that remove most blue light while maintaining substantial brightness. While all these may sound like tall claims, NASA and the International Space Stations actually use such bulbs to afford astronauts healthy sleep cycles without medicinal intervention.
Best Sleep-Friendly Lights Available Today
Desperate to get your kids and yourself back to enjoying normal sleep cycles? Know which options may be worth your while. Here are some good ones at your disposal:
Lighting Science’s Good Night Light ($19.99)
Lacking substantial amounts of blue light, the Lighting Science Good Night LED Household Light Bulbs produce light that prepares the body for sleep. Its makers recommend you use the bulb in a partially open fixture or lamp two hours before you hit the sack. With proper use, this light bulb could get you back to a natural circadian rhythm sooner.
LIFX Original A21 ($98.99)
Incredibly versatile, the LIFX Original A21 Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb does more than just set timers and lighting “programs” in your home. Set its light to red (yes, it can change to countless hues) and you’ll trick your body into thinking there is little to no light present in the bedroom. Consequently, your natural response is to feel like curling up in bed and head off to dreamland. Now that’s one way to hasten the production of melatonin!
GoodVibes Sleep Activator ($59)
Inspired by yoga techniques, the Hilo’s GoodVibes Sleep Activator combines rhythmic breathing and warm lighting to encourage deep slumber. Place on your bedside table and let its gentle lights lull you to sleep using the renowned 4-7-8 method. What’s that, you ask? Here’s how it works:
- When GOODVIBES emits a red light, inhale for four seconds.
- Once its light turns yellow, hold your breath for seven seconds.
- As it shifts to orange, exhale deeply for eight full seconds.
- Repeat the cycle until you fall asleep.
The exercise slows down your heart rate and relaxes your body immensely that even GoodVibes’ creators claim that it only takes a few minutes for their innovation to work like charm on you.
C by GE Smart Bulb ($39.99)
You may get both the C Life and C Sleep bulbs in this C by GE lighting kit, but we’ll just focus on the latter. For starters, it emits different color temperatures throughout the day to regulate your body’s natural melatonin production. In other words, it keeps you perky during the day and makes you drowsy by nightfall. Your body clock eventually gets synced as you cycle through C Sleep’s three settings (morning, afternoon, and evening) over time.
Philips Hue A19 Bulb ($49.99)
Philips Hue White A19 Light Bulbs are pre-programmed with color themes like Savanna Sunset that can fill your bedroom with a warm, comforting, and sleep-friendly glow. You can also program routines into it so your bedroom lights slowly dim or shift as the sun sets. Best of all, Philips Hue works seamlessly with your Amazon Echo so you won’t even need to reach for the switch to turn it on/off in the morning.
With the aid of these sleep-friendly lights, you could be getting the kids to sleep on time. They’ll lend you a hand in your long-time struggles against insomnia, too.
Curious what other light bulbs are best suited for your smart home? Here are 7 best smart lights available today.
Apple’s Night Shift Mode
If the main culprit behind your sleepless nights is your iPhone or iPad, make its display easier on your eyes with the Night Shift mode. This new iOS feature automatically shifts the color temperature of your Apple device’s screen as night approaches. This way, you could be putting less strain on your peepers as you ease your way to sleep.
There are a couple of ways you can do to enable Night Shift on iOS:
- Tell Siri to “Enable Night Shift”
- Enable on the Control Center toggle
- Enable manually via Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift
Keep in mind that these innovations and features aren’t guaranteed to magically fetch you some much-needed shut-eye. They’re still secondary to creating a healthy bedtime routine. It won’t make much of a difference if you have sleep-friendly lights around and yet still hang out on your Twitter newsfeed during ungodly hours.