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Sommeil : Pourquoi dormons-nous dans le noir ?

Sleep: Why do we sleep in the dark?

Before the invention of artificial light, human beings were destined to live according to the day and night, taking advantage of the darkness to fill up with energy while sleeping. Why do we still sleep in the dark despite the possibility of sleeping with light? How does darkness influence the quality of our sleep and our overall health? Finally, what are the automatisms and habits to take into account to sleep properly?

"Abandon yourself in the infinity of sleep, glide on the boat of dreams through the lulling waves of the subconscious." - Frederic Dard

Sleep and the dark: facts

Before we get started, we wanted to share some amazing and (perhaps) little known facts about sleep! You can always bring it up again during a discussion, who knows...

  • The production of melatonin can protect a person from certain cancers, and health problem we tell you more about it later ...).
  • This hormone regulates the appetite thanks to its balancing aspect within the body. It also serves to reduce blood pressure, blood sugar, and body temperature before sleeping.
  • A peak of cortisol (stress hormone) secretion is reached 5 minutes after waking up, then the amount decreases and regulates itself.
  • Artificial lights tend to increase cortisol levels before falling asleep, causing sleep disturbances.
  • On average, we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping. We might as well do everything we can to improve the quality of our sleep! The choice of bed linen is also a crucial point not to be forgotten...
  • People born blind are able to dream thanks to their other senses. They can, for example, dream about their perception of reality thanks to their experience of touch.
  • 50% of a dream is forgotten within 5 minutes of waking up. After 10 minutes, the percentage will pass the 90% mark.
  • "Dysania" is a term used to describe the inability to get out of bed.
  • 15% of the population would be sleepwalking.
  • Pain tolerance is reduced when a person does not sleep properly.
  • Not sleeping will kill you faster than not feeding you.
  • The world record for the longest sleep time is attributed to a Californian for sleeping 11 days without waking up in 1965 at the age of 17.

Why sleep in the dark?

Simply because the hormones that allow us to fall asleep are produced in the dark. Indeed, it is in the absence of light that our brain secretes melatonin thanks to the pineal gland.
Sleeping in the dark would also be, according to a study published by researchers at Tulane University in the USA, beneficial for the treatment of breast cancer. It is true that total darkness would allow the tamoxifen to act on the sick cells.

In general, light (especially artificial light from lamps or screens) would prevent the brain from producing melatonin. Did you know that this sleep hormone also plays a protective role against certain cancers? One more argument to avoid sleeping with light...

And all these good reasons are only the first ones! Sleeping in the dark would also prevent depression by allowing our cycles not to be disrupted, and by avoiding the disruption of our hormones due to exposure to light during our sleep.
As you may have understood, sleeping in the dark protects our body from all kinds of diseases (obesity, vision problems, etc.), regenerates it, and gives us the energy we need to live peacefully.

What are the habits to adopt?

Avoid screens and blue light before sleeping

You probably already know that screens affect the quality of your sleep! In order to have a good night's sleep, it is essential to stop all stimulating activities, in order to leave room for serenity and the calming of your mind. Moreover, the blue light emitted by your screens drastically affects the production of melatonin. You may not have trouble falling asleep, but you will wake up at night!

Natural light: staying in tune with day and night

As far as darkness and sleep are concerned, there are two schools of thought: sensitive people who have to sleep in complete darkness so as not to have their cycle disturbed, or those who let in a little natural light, in order to wake up gently.
It is, by the way, when our body perceives the first rays of sunlight that it immediately programs the production of melatonin for the same evening.
Thanks to this system of waking up, the production of hormones will be natural, and our body will adapt to the seasons. It is very important to stay in phase with the natural day and night cycle.

For those who are more sensitive, we advise you to accessorize your room well, so that the light does not penetrate it. Sleeping in a room isolated from the light of other rooms is already a good first step. You can then install shutters on your windows, as well as opaque blackout curtains to complete their use.

A sleep mask, especially a silk one, can be an essential accessory if you travel and sleep in an unfamiliar place.

For a quality sleep, do not hesitate to visit our previous articles, in particular the one on Podcasts, the Moon, or the advice to make your bedroom cosy during the fall of 2022!
Our customer service is also available to help you buy the bed linen that will fit your needs. Linen, cotton percale, cotton sateen, sets at 25% off, or comforter covers, the choice is wide and the quality high!