A common habit for most people is watching the TV before they sleep. A lot of us are guilty of falling asleep while the TV is on or is just more comfortable with either the TV or a night light on. This may not seem like a small thing, but this habit can actually affect our health in a negative way.

You are not alone when it comes to leaving the light, computer screen or TV on when they fall asleep at night. However, like you a lot of people are interfering with their healthy sleep, increasing their risk of developing sleep disorders and other health problems by maintaining this negative habit. According to recent studies, leaving the night light on at night can make you more prone to obesity, cancer, depression, skin irritation and sleep disorders.

There is a lot of people that are unable to fall asleep in complete darkness. Often people that have this problem require a TV, a pet or any form of light source to be comfortable falling asleep. This person often acquires this habit due to a rooted fear of darkness or what is behind it. Other possible reasons for the need of sleeping with the light on is PTSD, anxiety and childhood fears. Experts suggest gradual changes in sleeping habits to make you or someone you know more comfortable to sleeping in the dark. To further convince you of the negative effects of night light, here are other negative effects on your health.

Sleep/Wake Cycles

Our whole body follows the basic rhythm to function. From our heart beat to our sleep/wake cycle. This cycle is easily affected by light exposure. Research has proven that these natural rhythms is easily affected by light. People that often work shifting schedules face the need to sleep during the days and awake at night. People that have jobs or schedules that frequently affect their sleeping schedule are more prone to poor health and sleep disorder. The sleep/ wake cycle helps our body identify the time where the body should be producing melatonin, a hormone that helps induce sleep. Any form of light can suppress the production of melatonin. This lack of production can cause your sleep/wake cycle to be unbalanced and make you more prone to sleep disorders. This can even cause you to feel tired in the middle of the day. People that have chaotic sleep schedules are proven to have poorer health.

Cancer

Studies showed that there is a significant increase of developing breast cancer when exposed to prolong nigh light habits. The ideal cause of the increased is unclear, but it is said to be due to the changes in hormone and cortisol in the body when unable to sleep properly.

Depression

Insomnia or any form of sleep disorder is strongly associated with depression or the experience of depression. Research has shown that any form of dim lighting or light at night can increase physiological shifts that lead to depression. There is also disruption in the circadian rhythm of the body. A good thing about this research is that it showed that simply turning off all your lights at night and turning on normal lightning in the morning can help improve the physiological health and circadian rhythm.

Obesity

People that have irregular sleeping habits and are exposed to night light are more prone to gaining weight and obesity due to the changes is a physical rhythm there is an increase of hunger pangs and lack of energy during wake cycles.

Reproductive Health

People that are said to sleep with TVs or any form of light on our work rotating shifts are more prone to disrupted menstrual cycles. The research showed that women are more exposed to shifting and night light become more irregular in cycles than ones that sleep normal schedules and in darkness. This study indicates that exposure to light during sleep cycles and irregular sleeping schedules will affect fertility over time and may result in problems with reproduction.

Studies have proven that people should avoid electronic media at least an hour before bedtime. This rule particularly essential to children and teens. This can stunt their growth and affect their sleeping pattern in the long run. There are also studies that show that blue light from gadgets can affect melatonin production. It is important for everybody, especially children, to maintain a regular sleeping schedule with no night light. Pass this information on to help others learn the effects of night light on the health.

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