How many times have you fallen asleep with the lights, or television on, or even stayed up late to use your computer right before going to bed?
A key factor in regulating sleep and your biological clocks is exposure to light or to darkness so falling asleep with lights on may not be the best thing for a good night’s sleep.
Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the eye to parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide-awake.
Too much light, right before bedtime may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. In fact, one study recently found that exposure to unnatural light cycles may have real consequences for our health including increased risk for depression. Regulating exposure to light is an effective way to keep circadian rhythms in check.
Setting good sleep habits is particularly important for infants and children, as it directly impacts mental and physical development. Circadian rhythms develop at about six weeks, and by three to six months, most infants have a regular sleep-wake cycle. Learning to work with your body is essential for good health, because every living creature needs sleep.