How to choose the right color night light?

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Think­ing through the light­ing in the house, in most cas­es, we take into account only its func­tion­al­i­ty and com­pli­ance with the over­all style of the inte­ri­or. Wall and ceil­ing lamps, as well as table lamps, in our under­stand­ing, should be in har­mo­ny with the col­or of the walls, ceil­ing, cur­tains and oth­er ele­ments around us. But many do not even sus­pect that the use of a banal night light can have any effect on our health. Healthy­in­fo fig­ured out how light­ing of dif­fer­ent col­ors affects our body at night and whether a night light is need­ed in prin­ci­ple.

Light, the hormone melatonin and circadian rhythms

Light, the hormone melatonin and circadian rhythms

Elec­tric­i­ty, of course, brings great ben­e­fits to mankind, facil­i­tates the solu­tion of many prob­lems and makes pos­si­ble what we could not even think of before. But arti­fi­cial light­ing is still alien to our body. Our ances­tors, liv­ing with­out elec­tric­i­ty, worked dur­ing day­light hours and slept in total dark­ness. Arti­fi­cial light has rad­i­cal­ly changed the life of mod­ern man. We can work at night, sit in lit rooms in the evening, and sleep longer dur­ing the day.

Light is per­ceived by reti­nal gan­glion cells, which use it to adjust the bio­log­i­cal clock. The pho­to­sen­si­tive eye pig­ments of the rods (rhodopsin) and cones (iodopsin) help the brain receive infor­ma­tion about the col­or, shape and move­ment of objects in the real world. There are also spe­cial gan­glion cells con­tain­ing anoth­er light-sen­si­tive pig­ment, melanopsin. Its main func­tion is to reg­u­late the cir­ca­di­an rhythm, that is, to con­trol cer­tain bio­log­i­cal process­es depend­ing on the time of day.

Receiv­ing infor­ma­tion about the onset of dark­ness, the pineal gland of the brain (pineal gland) begins to active­ly pro­duce mela­tonin, the sleep hor­mone. Its max­i­mum con­cen­tra­tion is observed from mid­night to five in the morn­ing. Dur­ing the night, in the absence of any dis­tur­bances, about 70% of mela­tonin is pro­duced, and dur­ing the day, under the influ­ence of sun­light, its syn­the­sis slows down notice­ably. Light sup­press­es the pro­duc­tion of a hor­mone involved in the acti­va­tion of the immune sys­tem, slow­ing down the aging process and many oth­er vital func­tions of our body.

The results of some stud­ies have shown that mela­tonin reduces the inten­si­ty of the devel­op­ment of can­cer­ous tumors. So, women who are used to sleep­ing in the light are more prone to breast can­cer. Night shift work is no less haz­ardous to health. Accord­ing to sta­tis­tics, peo­ple who worked at night for 30 years are 2.2 times more like­ly to expe­ri­ence can­cer. At the same time, men who have only three night shifts per month are already at risk for devel­op­ing prostate can­cer. Also, night light­ing increas­es the like­li­hood of tumors in the rec­tum and colon. In addi­tion, the risk of obe­si­ty, the devel­op­ment of meta­bol­ic syn­drome, coro­nary heart dis­ease and ulcers of the gas­troin­testi­nal tract increas­es.

Researchers at Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty found that sleep­ing in the light also threat­ens to increase blood sug­ar lev­els and reduce the pro­duc­tion of lep­tin, the sati­ety hor­mone. There­fore, if a per­son likes to sleep in the light, he runs the risk of “earn­ing” dia­betes and obe­si­ty.

Effect of light on mood

Effect of light on mood

Experts say that not only the reg­u­la­tion of bio­log­i­cal rhythms depends on light. Light­ing also affects the cog­ni­tive func­tions of the brain, mood and emo­tions. More­over, not only the bright­ness of the light is impor­tant, but also the col­or of the light­ing. Experts from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Haifa observed peo­ple who had to make an impor­tant deci­sion in the face of uncer­tain­ty. Vol­un­teers placed bets on a lot­tery sim­u­la­tor, read­ing infor­ma­tion from a mon­i­tor on a green and red back­ground. The results of the study showed that when bet­ting on a red back­ground, peo­ple were more like­ly to think about los­ing, and when bet­ting on green, about win­ning.

In addi­tion to the col­or of light­ing, emo­tions are also affect­ed by its inten­si­ty. In bright light, vol­un­teers dur­ing the study were much more will­ing to donate their own mon­ey to char­i­ty, show­ing more altru­ism.

Speak­ing about the effect of light on mood, it is worth men­tion­ing anoth­er exper­i­ment con­duct­ed on Djun­gar­i­an ham­sters. In the course of the study, female rodents spent one week nights in the dark, then spent anoth­er week in dim light of blue, white, and red. The mood of the ham­sters was checked with the help of a sweet syrup, which they prac­ti­cal­ly did not drink when they were depressed. The results of the study showed that ham­sters drank the most syrup after nights spent in the dark or under red light­ing. Find­ings like these can help min­i­mize harm to peo­ple forced to work at night.

Anoth­er study by researchers at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford found which col­or of light­ing helps peo­ple fall asleep faster. Blue, pur­ple and green col­ors were cho­sen for the work. The study was car­ried out on mice. It turned out that under green light­ing the rodents fell asleep with­in 1–3 min­utes, under pur­ple — in 5–10 min­utes, and under blue — in 16–19. But the results of such a study are ambigu­ous, because for mice, unlike humans, night is the time of wake­ful­ness.

There are also sep­a­rate stud­ies on the effect of blue col­or on the body. It turned out that expo­sure to blue light on the pho­tore­cep­tor cells of the reti­na caus­es the accu­mu­la­tion of reti­nal (one of the forms of vit­a­min A), which becomes tox­ic in excess. Blue light also trig­gers process­es that increase the con­cen­tra­tion of cal­ci­um in the cyto­plasm. With con­stant expo­sure to blue light, mac­u­lar degen­er­a­tion devel­ops, lead­ing to loss of visu­al acu­ity, as in the nat­ur­al aging process. A sim­i­lar exper­i­ment was car­ried out with oth­er col­ors (yel­low, green and red). They are safe for the eyes.

Conclusions: do you need a night light and how to protect your health?

Conclusions: do you need a night light and how to protect your health?

Of course, in many cas­es, one can­not do with­out a night light. But it is best to aban­don appli­ances that work all night and illu­mi­nate the room with sub­dued light. The night light should be locat­ed next to the bed so that it is always pos­si­ble to turn it on with­out prob­lems in the dark for a short time. It is best to give pref­er­ence to red light­ing, which has the least effect on mela­tonin pro­duc­tion and, accord­ing­ly, the safest for health.

The type of lamp used is also impor­tant. Com­mon flu­o­res­cent light bulbs are harm­ful to the eyes. Unno­ticed by humans, they con­stant­ly flick­er, caus­ing fatigue and headaches. It is best to buy lamps with mod­ern LED lamps.

By Yraa

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