What is the relationship between daylight and night sleep?

 The process of sleeping and waking is one of the most important human behaviors. We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping and cannot survive without it.

While sleeping, our brain remembers and processes information. Our body cleans organic matter and repairs itself so that we can function properly after waking up.

daylight and night sleep
Photo by DANNY G on Unsplash

Even short-term sleep deprivation can affect our health. Most of us get sick after one night of sleep deprivation, and after three nights without sleep, our work is adversely affected.

According to a study, staying awake for 17 to 19 hours affects the ability to understand many things just like an alcoholic.

These effects get worse over time. The longest period of time spent without sleep was more than eleven days, resulting in severe psychological changes. Problems with concentration and short-term memory, including brain disorders, also occurred.

But while scientists have long understood the importance of sleep, the important role of natural light is sometimes neglected.

Setting the body clock

The reason light is important is because it regulates our daily routine or our body clock through special sensors in the eyes.

Our eye detects light and dark periods in our environment and adjusts our body routine to match your body and the time of day.

Its importance is illustrated by the fact that people with severe eye damage find their body clocks adversely affected, causing them to have trouble sleeping.

Without access to light, the human body's systems go awry.

The fatigue of airplane travel is a clear example of the effects of light. Exposure to light in a new place and new time zone helps our body adjust to local time and tells us the right time to sleep.

In the eighteenth century, most people in the world worked under the open sky and knew the transition from day to night.

Today, most of us miss these environmental cues because we work indoors. In the UK, for example, agriculture and fishing now account for only one per cent of jobs.

We have become a light-deprived species, which is affecting the quality of our sleep and resulting in long-term health effects. This optimal amount of light varies from person to person, but we do know that our bodies need light that many people who work indoors do not have access to.

A notable side effect is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression. An estimated two to eight percent of Europeans suffer from it, and it is linked to a lack of sunlight.

And in many other places lack of natural light has caused problems.

Working at night:

Most of us are not getting enough natural light and this is especially a problem for those on night duty.

They have to work at a time when the body clock has set the body to sleep and agility and work capacity are low. They certainly try to sleep during the day but it is often short duration or not good sleep.

In fact, they work when they are asleep and sleep when they are not, and this has negative health effects that we are now learning about.

This immediately affects the abnormal emotional response and the ability to use information correctly.

Working the night shift can affect many aspects of health, cutting up to six years off a person's life.

97% of night shift workers fail to adapt to their work style even after working for many years.

They fail to change their physical health because the artificial light provided in their office or factory is too dim compared to ambient light, natural light at noon on a bright day, 250 times that of office light. More bright.

When a night worker leaves the house and is exposed to natural light, internal systems receive signals that it is time to wake up.

According to a Harvard study, night shift workers become full-fledged nocturnal workers due to bright workplace lighting and being away from natural light during the day.

Promotion of natural light:

Residents in nursing homes also often suffer from a lack of sunlight.

Light inside the four walls is extremely dim, so residents often get very little natural light, which means poor sleep is common.

A Dutch study increased the amount of light in nursing homes, while trying to keep bedrooms as dark as possible.

This reduced daytime sleepiness while ensuring nighttime sleep, which improved mental capacity.

Light deprivation is not only the lack of natural light, but also the supply of light at the right time.

The light used at night causes our body clock to slow down due to which we wake up late the next day. Morning light stimulates the body clock, which makes us wake up early.

This was not a problem when humans worked under the open sky, as we were exposed to both morning and night.

But today most of us experience only part of the sunrise or sunset cycle. This is especially true of university students who start the day late and then spend more time outside in the evening.

Light used in the dark at night causes their body clocks to lag, which means they will wake up later and go to sleep later. It causes hormonal changes in teenagers and adults that cause the body clock to be delayed by two hours.

There is a lot of information about the health consequences of smoking, alcohol consumption and unprotected sex, but we know less about the importance of sleep and the importance of light in it.

More research and more awareness on this issue may help people make their own sleep preferences and use more sunlight. It can also influence policies made by governments, educational institutions and workplaces.

Using less light before going to bed at night, and using more light in the morning, are simple ways that most people can improve their sleep.

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