Why does light make waking up easier and going to sleep extra difficult?
- We all have a biological clock in our body that runs at about 24 hours and controls many bodily processes. For example, when hormones get released, when you’ll be sleepiest, and when you’ll be the most alert.
- Your clock is flexible and actually synchronizes to cues in our environment. For example, sunlight synchronizes our clock to the 24 hour days on Earth.
- Your eyes are directly connected to your biological clock. Thus, the amount of light you see helps your clock determine the time of day.
If you get lots of light early in the morning, your clock will run faster, making you tired earlier at night and waking you up earlier the next day.
If you get lots of light in the evening, it’ll run slower, making you feel more awake and less tired at night and waking you up later in the morning.
To have an easier time waking up, we can use light to help us wake up in the morning and try to avoid light at night to help us fall asleep!