We've all been guilty of scrolling through Instagram on our phones, reading on tablets or catching up on some late-night tv in bed, right? But did you know that the light from your screens is messing with your sleep cycle?
You see, it comes down to hormones. Melatonin is our sleepy hormone. It controls our wake and sleep patterns and lets our bodies know what time of day it is. It's very clever. As the day gets darker, our bodies naturally produce more of it to help transition us smoothly from ‘wide awake’ to 'sleepy' mode.
But, here’s the thing. Screen light tampers with melatonin production. It blocks the release of melatonin and so muddles up our body clocks.
Research into melatonin suppression and sleep reveals that blue light is the worst culprit and it's blue light that's emitted from screens - from phones, tablets, laptops and tvs and also from LED and fluorescent lighting. Blue light, more than other types of light, is particularly good at tricking our brains into thinking it's day time, making it difficult for us to relax and drift off to sleep.
There are a few simple steps we can take to prevent blue light getting in the way of a good night's sleep and, even as adults, we can learn a thing or two from Suzy Snooze about creating the right conditions for good quality, restful sleep.
It's no accident that Suzy is that scrummy shade of orange. We worked closely with sleep experts to make sure Suzy’s coloured lights are conducive to sleep. While blue light makes it more difficult to fall asleep (or to enjoy a proper lovely sleep when we do), orange light like Suzy's does the opposite. The warmth of the colour orange creates a reassuring, calming atmosphere. In sleep sequence mode, Suzy's lights mimic an evening sunset designed to signal to the brain that it's time to wind down and sleep.
We believe good quality sleep is important for the whole family, so while Suzy creates a soothing sleep environment for your kids, here are some tips to help you say bye-bye to blue light and hello to lovely sleep too:
- Make a pact to put electronic devices like phones, laptops and tablets away at least one hour before bed
- If the 'no device' plan isn't possible, check if your phone/tablet screen has a night time setting. You might find that you can swap the blue backlight for a warmer, orange backlight that doesn't inhibit the release of your sleepy hormone
- Check our apps like f.lux that automatically adjust the kind of light your laptop screen emits according to the time of day
- Swap late night telly for calming music one hour before bed
- Consider swapping the lights you use at night time for red/orange ones that don't emit blue light or try to dim the lights in your house after sunset
To learn more about melatonin and about how artificial light affects your sleep, you might want to leaf through the sources below. Happy snoozing!