Before we had television and other ‘boxes’ that emitted light, we had electric lights. Before that we had gas lights. And before even that, we had fire (torches and fireplaces). That takes us to the original and still constant source of light – the sun.
The sun – the light it gives off during the day and the absence of light when it goes down – is what drives our bodies’ circadian rhythm. This biological ‘internal clock’ is what signals our bodies when it is time to sleep and when to get up and ‘get things done’!
This ‘signal’ is a chemical compound called Melatonin, which our bodies start secreting in the early evening. This tells the body to get ready for sleep. It increases throughout the night and peaks at about 3am, then begins tapering off so that we are once again waking when it starts getting light outside.
From the days when fire in the caves was used not just to keep warm but to also give light to continue the daytime activities, we have been losing sleep! Now, with house lights and electrical devices allowing us to stay up long after the sun has gone down, we are seriously messing with our biological clocks and circadian rhythms.
Below is a link to an excellent article that gives you more details. Read it and then leave a comment if it ‘enlightened’ you!
Light has a profound effect on sleep. Exposure to light early in the day stimulates the body and mind, encouraging feelings of wakefulness, alertness, and energy. Light exposure at night also stimulates alertness—and that can pose a serious problem for healthy, abundant, refreshing sleep. Light exposure during the evening can make it harder to fall asleep. Insufficient darkness throughout the night can lead to frequent and prolonged awakenings…
(If you are like me and have given in to staying up after – sometimes Way after – sundown, you might want to look at the Sleep product that I have been using to add Melatonin, in a blend with GABA and Valerian root to be most effective, to my nighttime routine.)
Disclaimer: Yes, if you order anything from the link just above, I may earn a small commission – it’s how I am able to keep bringing you information like this.