Sleeping with lights on or off: Which is healthier?

Sleeping is the time for our body to rest and recuperate. Adults usually need seven to eight hours of sleep, while children and teenagers need less than 10 hours.

To make sure we benefit the most from our time in the land of nod, it is important to do it right, including whether to turn off the light or leave it on all night, as reported by

Connection to cancer

(NCBI) in the United States found that sleeping with the light on may shorten melatonin duration by about 90 minutes. Exposure to artificial light during normal sleeping hours may also suppress melatonin by 50 percent. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness.

Leaving the lights on may even lead to sickness, including cancer. A study showed that women who sleep under higher intensity light have a higher chance of developing breast cancer than those who sleep with the lights off, as quoted by Gizmodo. Melatonin suppression is said to be the cause.

Read also: Night owls risk dying younger, should sleep in: Study

Weight gain

A research published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that artificial light makes people gain weight, and the effects are similar to eating junk food, as reported by Reuters. This is because the light is able to disrupt your sleep schedule and quality as well as disrupting your eating habits.  


Getting exposed to light for too long, either in your bedroom, office or from your smartphone screen, will affect your stress hormone, cortisol, and is also connected to your mental health. The Huffington Post reported a study published in Nature journal that experimented on mice. The result revealed that the mice showed behaviors indicative of depression, such as moving less than usual and having an impaired memory. (wir/wng)


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