Weekend Wellness: How Lighting Can Help You Sleep Better

I know it sounds so simple, but it bears repeating: the type of lighting in your bedroom plays a huge role in how well (or poorly!) you sleep. As someone who’s struggled with insomnia for most of my adult life, I can attest to this. I’ve pretty much inspected every facet of our bedroom in the hopes of maximizing my ability to sleep. With so much research and insight, I figured it was time for me to share with you about changing your lighting can help you sleep better!

Can’t Sleep? It Might Be Your Lighting.

Why does blue light affect your sleep?

I’m not exactly a scientist, so I’m not going to go into what blue light actually is… to be honest, it’s sort of confusing to me (this is a good article if you’d like to know more)! I just know that it’s often one of the culprits for a bad night’s sleep. Devices such as your computer, tablet or phone emit blue light — as does sunlight! The issue occurs when blue light inhibits your brain’s natural melatonin levels. Melatonin is the hormone that tells your body that it’s time to go to sleep. That effect is then combined with the fact that blue light throws off your circadian rhythm… and then you’re all kinds of awake and discombobulated!

I always believe that awareness is the first step to addressing any issue and the same is true for changing your lighting to get a good night’s sleep. It’s time to take a closer look at what could be emitting blue light — you just might be surprised!

Common sources of blue light include:

  • LCD screens like television, tables, computers, and phones
  • cool-toned light bulbs
  • LED light bulbs
  • florescent lighting

Keep in mind that there are some good benefits to blue light… the key is to make sure you’re aware of the time of day you are around it! For example, blue light helps to elevator mood, helps memory and cognitive function, and boosts alertness. Those are all things you’d want in the morning though, not at night!

How to reduce blue light to improve your sleep quality:

Be aware of your tech use habits before bedtime

My first rule of thumb is no phone use after 9 pm. I’ve set my iPhone to automatically switch into Night Shift mode at 8 pm every day. Also, we make sure to turn off the tv at 9, so that our brains have time to adjust before we go to bed.

Wear blue light blocking eyewear

I’ve also invested in a pair of blue light blocking glasses (you can see them in this post). If you don’t need a prescription, these glasses are a great alternative. I love that they help to reduce eyestrain, too!

Swap out your lightbulbs

The easiest way to reduce the level of blue light in your bedroom is to install warm-toned bulbs instead! Luckily, there are options in both incandescent and LED, depending on which you prefer. The key is to give your bedroom a cozy, warm glow. You can go the route of pink, orange or red hued bulbs or get a light bulb that is specially designed to help you sleep. I especially like Soraa Healthy Light Bulbs because they are dimmable, don’t buzz or flicker, and they emit zero blue light. There’s one more added benefit: rosy, warm light is way more romantic and flattering!

Use a sunrise and sunset simulating alarm clock

Now that my phone is banished from the bedroom, you’re probably wondering how on earth I wake up each morning… I use a sunrise alarm clock! It imitates the sun and gently wakes me up when I need it. And my favorite part? The clock doesn’t stay illuminated while I’m sleeping… it’s totally dark!

For more wellness posts about sleep, check out these:
photography & styling by Jojotastic.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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