Studies suggest that sleep deprivation is associated with lower bone density. Changing the colors of the light you experience during the day and night can help you get better sleep.
Bright sunlight during the day signals your body to wake up. Amber or red tones in the evening followed by darkness tell your body to sleep. Electric lights and electronic devices are similar to bright daytime sun, stimulating your body to wake up. This can make it difficult to sleep.
4 tips for better sleep
1. Get some bright light during the day.
The blue tones in bright sunlight set your biological clock for the day. Get at least 30 minutes of blue light each day either from bright sunlight or a bright light bulb. This can also reduce jet lag when traveling.
2. Change to amber or red tones at night.
The amber and red tones of sunset set your biological clock for night. Unfortunately, the blue light in computers, TVs, and cell phones signal your body to wake up. In the evening, you can reduce your blue light exposure with amber light bulbs or amber eye glasses.
You can install a blue blocking program on your computer. F.Lux is free and adjusts for your time zone. You can download it at justgetflux.com. F.lux will automatically change the colors on your computer screen twice a day. At sunrise, the colors become brighter with the blue tones of bright daylight. In the evening, the colors are muted with the amber colors of sunset.
3. Keep your bedroom dark at night.
Darkness sets your biological clock for sleep. Preventing sunlight or streetlight from coming in through bedroom windows is challenging. Blackout cellular shades inside the window frame allow light to come in around the edges. Blackout drapes also let in light. Blinds and plantation shutters let in even more light. One way to resolve this is to use several light blocking window treatments. For example, you could use blackout cellular shades inside a window frame, blackout drapes, and a cornice covering the top of the window.
4. Remove electronic devices from the bedroom.
Electronic devices can also emit blue tones which interfere with sleep. Consider moving them out of the bedroom or covering their lights with tape.
What is your experience with light and sleep?
The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
Deeper Sleep Hacking – Dan Pardi
Xiaowen Xu, Liang Wang, Liying Chen, Tianjiao Su, Yan Zhang, Tiantian Wang, et al. Effects of chronic sleep deprivation on bone mass and bone metabolism in rats. J Orthop Surg Res. 2016; 11: 87 [PMC free article]
Fu X, Zhao X, Lu H, Jiang F, Ma X, Zhu S. Association between sleep duration and bone mineral density in Chinese women. Bone. 2011;49:1062–1066. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2011.08.008. [PubMed]
Zakhem E, El Hage R, Zunquin G, Jacob C, Moussa E, Theunynck D. Sleep quality is a determinant of hip bone mineral density in a group of young Lebanese men. J Med Liban. 2014;62:213–216. [PubMed]