Sleeping With the Lights On Disturbs Biological Clock

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People who like staying up late at night with lights still on can cause havoc to the body’s biological clock.

Australian scientists have found that sleeping late at night after lighted by lamps can cause the body’s biological clock or circadian rhythms of the body become chaotic, making it difficult to compensate for job activities that is started from 9am until 5 pm.

“People who likes staying up often find it hard to sleep and are not refreshed the next day. The effect is the same as jet lag,” says Professor Helen Burgess of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, according to NineMSN.

Prof. Burgess conducted a study on 10 people. The participants were initially asked to sleep at 10pm and wake up at 7am for a week. Once awake, they were asked to go outside the house for 10 minutes to receive sunlight.

Participants were then asked to raise their sleep tim until around 1am and wake up at 7am for a week so they feel tired during the day. The second study attempts to eliminate the effects of sleep deprivation by allowing the participants to sleep during the day to relieve their fatigue.

But the findings were the same. When participants were exposed to light when waking up late at night, they tend to have trouble sleeping and feel less fit the next day.

“Shifting the body’s biological clock to to sleep late means not sleeping on the best circadian clock that can be obtained. Staying up at night with all the lights on will send signals like during the day to the biological clock,” he said.

He added that if someone then turns off the lights when they sleep, it will cause the body to become more relaxed and circadian rhythms adjusts.

Prof Burgess confirms that exposure to light at night has an equally important role in regulating the body clock caused by exposure to sunlight in the morning. Scientists believe that the morning light helps reset the brain every day and organize work to maintain hormonal body functions, including eating and sleeping.

He then explained that the secret to keeping the body clock stay organized and avoid being unfit in the morning is to turn off or dim the lights at night and regulate sleeping time.

“And if you have to work late on weekends, the morning light is really good for the body,” he concluded.

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