Counting sheep, warm milk, melatonin pills, meditation apps — there’s no shortage of techniques, new and old, that promise to help you sleep better. And, clearly, we need them, as the CDC reports that an estimated 83.6 million adults in the US are sleep deprived. The latest addition to that list? A sleep light, or light bulb rather.
The Good Night LED Sleep-Enhancing Light ($18; sleepscore.com/sleep-shop) created by the Lighting Science Group features a unique technology originally developed as part of a collab with NASA. The premise: It emits a patented spectrum of light — different than what a regular ol’ lightbulb would emit — which minimizes the amount of blue light. This in turn allows for the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for your natural sleep-wake cycle.
As a quick reminder, blue light is basically the devil when it comes to falling asleep. It’s the type of light emitted by all our beloved tech devices, and can decrease melatonin, thus seriously screwing with your sleep. It’s why everyone tells you not to turn on the TV or go down an Instagram wormhole right before bed (easier said than done).
This little bulb has some impressive proven results, too. SleepScore Labs, the company known for aiming to improve sleep, ran a validation study on the light to see just how effective it was. Over a total of 1,262 nights, 59 participants tracked their sleep using the bulb. More half felt that they slept better in general and that it took them to less time to fall asleep, and half felt more rested the next day. Objective data and numbers also proved a decreased time spent awake and in a light sleep for people who used the bulbs for as little as five days. Not to mention that 90 percent said they’d keep using the bulbs.
Photo: c/o Sleep Score Labs
Now, while sleeping issues have never really been my problem, I’m always down to get a better night’s sleep and feel more rested. I decided to test out the light during a particularly stressful week — would it keep me from lying awake making mental to-do lists until the wee hours of the morning, I wondered?
The bulb looks like any other one, I simply swapped it out on my nightstand lamp; the directions say to leave it on for at least an hour before bedtime. The light is definitely super warm — aka very yellowy — but I actually preferred it to my prior bulb. It was also brighter than my usual light, which was interesting as I always thought it was better to hang out in a darker room before bed.
In the interest of full disclosure, I did have the TV on the entire time I had the light on. Still, despite the massive onslaught of blue light I was putting into the room, I fell asleep faster and easier than ever once I switched them both off. I also didn’t wake up once the entire night, which has definitely not been the norm as of late. Coincidence? Maybe. But I don’t see any reason not to keep the bulb in and see if it continues to help.
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