Use Light to Help You Sleep
Astronauts tested this circadian rhythm-supporting bulb.
In the context of sleep, light is often demonized. Stare at blue light from your phone or laptop before bed, and your brain will stop producing melatonin, a powerful hormone that helps you doze off.
That interferes with your circadian rhythm, the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, which can negatively impact every organ in your body. “We’re beginning to understand a bit better the role circadian rhythm plays in health,” says Nathaniel Watson, MD, co-director of the Medicine Sleep Center at the University of Washington in Seattle.
You may have already tweaked your evening routine to avoid these disruptions, but experts suggest exposing yourself to the right types of light can help you snooze more soundly. Watson envisions that the bedrooms of the future will automatically adjust to people’s ideal nighttime conditions by filtering blue light out of bulbs, drawing blackout shades at the preferred time, chilling rooms, and monitoring air pollution.
“There are lots of things to do to optimize your environment,” he says. Lighting is the first step on this quest for the perfect slumber. New smart bulbs and lighting systems manipulate color wavelengths with the tap of a finger, emit warm light, and cater to your schedule so you go to bed feeling relaxed and wake up ready for the day.
Regain control over your circadian rhythm with these four products.
Lighting Science GoodNight Sleep-Enhancing LED Bulb
This bulb was originally developed for NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station to help support their circadian rhythms. With 20 years of research to back it up, the bulb’s warm spectrum glow was inspired by candlelight. Put it in your bedside lamp for best results.
Sleepace Nox Music Smart Light
Make your bedroom more relaxing with this smart light, which mimics the sights and sounds of a spa to set you up for a solid rest. It raises melatonin levels with its warm, red glow and plays soothing music (or your favorite zen-inducing playlist) to lull you to sleep. The Sleepace app can monitor and track your movements, then turn the light off once you’re in slumber.
Philips Hue Starter Kit
You can configure this bulb to slowly brighten in the morning and fade at night so it mimics sunrise and sunset. The Routines tab in the Philips Hue app allows you to schedule when you want these smart bulbs to turn on and off.
C by GE Sol
Adjust the brightness on this smart lamp by using the touch controls on its base. In the C by GE app, you can also make the light warmer or cooler based on the time of day or your mood. Since it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, it also responds to voice commands.