How Light Affects Your Sleep

Dr Nicola Barclay, University of Oxford Sleep Scientist, and John Tuton, Mammoth Founder, discuss the importance of your sleep environment monitoring your exposure to blue light. 

JT: When we redecorated, we put in a couple of dedicated spotlights, but they’ve only got an orange orangey red bulb in rather than blue. Now, am I correct in saying that is a positive step forward? You know, if we’re still pottering around, we can’t have sheer blackness, but it’s much dimmer and it is particularly sort of an orange red light. Is that, are we on the right track there or is there any improvements to be made?

NB: Yeah, absolutely. So, we know that light is made up of lots of different wavelengths and lots of different photo pigments. So, it goes right from the whole spectrum of colour and short wavelength light, which is blue as we experience it, is much, much better at inhibiting melatonin. So, it’s more stimulating. So, it’s going to inhibit melatonin to a greater extent. So, we want to make sure that we’re not exposing ourselves to too much blue lights in the evening. And blue light comes from a lot of devices. So, we do the phones, tablets, computers, TV do emit blue wavelength light amongst all of the other wavelengths.

So, if we can reduce our exposure to blue wavelength light and that’s a great thing. So, as you say, light bulbs that have a more orangey red hue, that’s great. Also, will the devices have a night shift mode? So, all of my devices, I automatically have them set. So they’re always on night shift mode from 7:00 in the evening, right through until 7:00 in the morning. So just making these small changes in your life to try and help you is the way forward.

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Watch the full interview here.