Perhaps one of the most frustrating sleep problems is experienced by light sleepers. Usually, light sleepers have no problems with getting off to sleep, it’s just staying asleep that is the problem. Light sleepers don’t typically enter into the deep sleep part of the sleep cycle, this leaves them prone to being woken up by their own movements or those of a partner. As any light sleeper will know, time seems to slow down in the hours that they lie awake trying to drift off to sleep.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Connected with Light Sleep
Professor Debra Skene of Surrey University has linked the increased use of energy-efficient light bulbs to the increase in the number of people who are experiencing light sleep according to an article on the Telegraph Website. Professor Skene observes that energy efficient light bulbs emit more of the blue light spectrum than incandescent light bulbs. The exposure to blue light has been linked with the slowdown in production of sleep hormones that make us feel tired and ready for sleep.
One problem with energy efficient bulbs is that they generally aren’t suitable for use with a dimmer switch, so you cannot adjust their brightness.
Laptops & Tablets and TVs
Other sources of light, including LED screens found in laptops, TVs and Tablets emit blue light that can prevent us from getting to sleep or cause light sleeping.
Some devices allow you to install software that dims the screen during the later hours of the day so that you are exposed to less blue light. F.Lux is one such program for Windows PCs, Mac & iPhone and iPad. If you are unable to avoid using your tech devices late at night, give f.lux a try. For TVs look in the menu for picture modes or scene modes – switch over to the one that’s the least vivid to reduce the amount of blue light emitted.
Lighting Tips for a Great Night’s Sleep
- Sit further away from your TV at night – if you can change the picture mode to one that’s less vivid.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend using tech devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets.
- Install f.lux software if you cannot avoid using tech devices late at night
- Try lowering the light in the room with some soft lit lamps
- Add a larger lampshade or an uplighter to your lights.
A Little Help from your Bedding
Making yourself as comfortable as possible in bed can be a big help for light sleepers. Changing sleep position can be enough to wake a light sleeper up completely. Establishing a sleep position that’s comfortable enough to stay in for longer periods may offer you a prolonged sleep. Generally speaking, feather pillows offer more support and are considered more comfortable than man-made fibre pillows. Used in conjunction with a duvet that’s an appropriate TOG rating for the season can reduce the amount you move due to overheating.
If you have some tips on getting a better night’s sleep for light sleepers, please leave us a comment below.