‘Dieting’ on LEDs, avoiding light before bed increases sleep quality

ISTANBUL (AA) : The reason behind you sleeping late is probably all the light you subject your eyes to, from phones to televisions to computers, at night, researchers say.

Professor Muhammed Emin Akkoyunlu – Medipol Mega University Hospital Chest Diseases and Sleep Clinic Specialist – stated that looking at the phone, television and computer before bedtime prevents sleep, as the lights from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) create the perception that “the sun is up, the sky is bright.”

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) about the ideal sleep duration and the effects of LED lights on sleep, Akkoyunlu drew attention to the fact that the need for sleep does not decrease with age.

Emphasizing that sleeping at 11 p.m. and waking up at 7 a.m. for adults will provide the ideal sleep, Akkoyunlu said that this period should be longer in children in order to ensure hormonal balance and adequate secretion of growth hormones.

Akkoyunlu stated that 23 hours of sleep for newborns and babies and nine to 10 hours for children close to adolescence would provide the ideal sleep time, and pointed out that the situation is different in adolescents.

Akkoyunlu explained that because of sudden hormonal explosions in adolescents, the body cannot find the balance to meet it, so the time to fall asleep is also late.

Akkoyunlu stated that between 12 and 1 a.m. at night and 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. in the morning would be sufficient for ideal sleep time in adolescence.

“Parents can’t experience this very much. ‘Everyone goes to bed at 11, and you will go to bed at that time,’ they may say. The child goes to bed but turns over that way and this (and can’t fall asleep). Therefore, it is necessary to tolerate them a little more.”

Akkoyunlu noted that one of the most important mechanisms to bring about sleep is the secretion of melatonin, and the other is the electrical signals given by the perceptions in the eye that practically say “sleep now.”

Akkoyunlu noted that both of these mechanisms are triggered, or left untriggered, by sunlight.

“You light a fire in the evening and sit around it, at that time, you feel sleepy because there is no sunlight around. If you turn on the lamps at home or read a book, you will feel sleepy. However, you will not be sleepy if you look at your phone, turn on the TV, or look at the computer. LED screens are a light structure that imitates the wavelengths of sunlight. It deceives both our eyes and the hormone melatonin.”

Akkoyunlu stated that, especially in recent years, with the widespread use of LEDs, sleep problems have increased.

“We recommend going on a LED diet at least one hour before going to sleep. You should not look at your phone or computer or watch television before going to bed. If possible, LED lamps should not be used in the bedroom; fluorescent or analog lamps may be used. If these are considered, sleep will come earlier and you will sleep more happily and peacefully.”

Akkoyunlu pointed out that the use of LED lamps in the age group before puberty also seriously disrupted sleep. He also stated that today, there is a decrease in sleep duration, which negatively affects health and increases the risk of disease and death.

Emphasizing the importance of exercise and a LED diet for healthy sleep, Akkoyunlu said that when too much energy is spent, the body will give a “rest” warning and recommend moderate exercise, especially at 6, 7, or 8 p.m.

Akkoyunlu added that taking a hot shower before bed will also improve sleep quality.