It’s common knowledge that the eyes are used for seeing. However, only a few people are aware that our sense of vision interacts with the brain to regulate biological functions like mood, behavior, and sleep patterns.
You will be thrilled at how your vision affects your sleep pattern and moods. Read on and find out more about light and your brain.
Light Receptors in The Eyes Affects Your Biological Clock
To ensure that we are moving at the same pace, let’s quickly tell you about the biological clock.
What Is Biological Clock?
You can think of the biological clock as an innate timing mechanism. It is often regulated by the interaction between specific molecules in the cells. Perhaps, an easier way to illustrate the biological clock is your sleep-wake pattern.
Falling asleep at night and staying awake during the day is a demonstration of the light-related circadian rhythm. Contrary to misconceptions, the biological clock and circadian rhythm are not the same. Instead, the biological clock produces and regulates the circadian rhythms.
How Does Circadian Rhythm Affect Your Health and Body Function?
The circadian rhythms affect your eating habits, body temperature, and other bodily functions like hormone secretion and digestion.
If your biological clock or circadian rhythms are distorted, the chances are that you will experience sleep disorders like insomnia, depression, and other health conditions like depression and diabetes.
How Does Circadian Rhythms Affect Sleep?
Recall that the biological clock regulates the circadian rhythms. It may interest you to know that the master clock controls both the biological clock and circadian rhythms in the brain.
The master clock keeps every other “clock” in sync. This is done through a collection of nerve cells (also known as neurons) that forms the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).
SCN is formed in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus, and it receives input from the optic nerves in the eyes.
The master clock controls the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. When there’s less light around you, SCN tells your brain to produce more melatonin — and that’s why people fall asleep easily in dark rooms.
Melatonin production is at its peak level at night. When melatonin hormones are produced, they are transported to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and cerebrospinal fluids to other parts of your body. Thus, telling your body that it’s night time.
During the day, the master circadian clock stops the production of melatonin, hence keeping you awake.
Research has shown that exposure to different types of light and working shifts can affect your circadian rhythms. Thus, affecting your sleep-wake pattern and melatonin secretion as well. No wonder the eyes are also regarded as a light meter that that adjusts the circadian rhythm.
Light and Your Sleep Cycle
Exposure to too much blue light, especially at night, can cause headaches and make it hard for you to fall sleep. Common sources of blue light most people are not aware of our phones, TVs, and laptops.
Because of the hot/warm temperature of blue lights, which is close to that of sunlight, the light from your gadgets tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime and you should be awake.
On the other hand, red lights are cooler, and they help you unwind and sail smoothly to dreamland at night.
Interestingly, both cortisol and melatonin production is affected by light. Cortisol (the hormone that keeps you awake) is highest during the day, and it’s lowest when you are deep asleep.
Melatonin is lowest during the day and the highest at night. Combined, both hormones help you sleep well, and they are affected by light.
Red Light Therapy and Sleep
Since the eyes serve as the window for light to reach our brain and induce melatonin hormone production and inhibition, it would be best to surround yourself with red light to improve your quality and quantity of sleep.
Blue Light Therapy and Productivity
Blue light has shown to stimulate the brain and warding off fatigue. Research has also shown that blue light improves alertness and performance. Blue light is ample in sunlight, but in case you often stay indoors or happen do shift-work that you don't usually get sunlight, you can use the help of artificial lights to help you get the blue light you need.
One sure fire way to get the right amount of healthy light in your room is to get Aromeo Sense. Its Sleep Module is equipped with light therapy technology with sunset simulation to help you relax and create a balanced environment for regenerative sleep. Aromeo Sense also has a Focus Module with blue-white light that can boost your concentration. The Relax Module has breathing light ring to guide your inhale and exhale while giving you the benefits of light therapy.