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Harnessing the Power of Light for Restful Sleep and a Better Bedtime Routine

September 19, 2023

During our bedtime routine we often pay close attention to our sleep environment – making sure our pillows are fluffed, our blankets are cozy, and our soothing sleep noises are playing. Despite our best efforts, we might accidentally miss a crucial piece in the sleep puzzle: Light. 

We usually associate light with daytime and wakefulness, but light actually plays a crucial role in assisting and improving our sleep. In fact, light acts as a message for our minds and bodies at bedtime, letting our circadian rhythm know it’s time for sleep and helping us get the restorative rest we need. 

Light and Our Circadian Rhythms

Our bodies are actually finely-tuned light sensors. Our internal clock, or circadian rhythm, keeps careful track of the day’s natural light and darkness cycle. Circadian rhythms are responsible for maintaining physiological processes like body temperature, hormone production and, you guessed it, our sleep-wake cycle.

Light is the primary way our circadian rhythm synchronizes itself. It uses light to let our brains know what time of day it is, and therefore whether we should be awake or asleep. To maintain a healthy circadian rhythm we need to get plenty of natural light – which is rich in blue light frequencies – during the day, and dimmer light without blue frequencies at night when we want to wind down. 

Setting the Bedtime Mood with Light

Light dictates when we feel awake and when our bodies know it’s time to go to bed, so using the right lights during your bedtime routine can make a big difference. 

For starters, it’s important to avoid blue light around bedtime. Blue light is prevalent in natural daylight, so our bodies associate it with daytime. For this reason, the blue light that emanates from phones, computers, and TVs can sometimes trick our circadian rhythms into thinking it’s still light out, which makes it harder to fall asleep. Try to avoid using screens for an hour or two before you go to bed. 

Get ready for bed by using soft, dim light with warm hues like red, orange, or peach. A regular bedside light won’t always cut it when you’re looking for these tones or adjustability, which is the calming & peaceful light setting on Hatch Restore 2 makes perfecting your bedtime lighting a breeze. Restore 2 comes with dozens of  fully-adjustable light and colorscape options to use for your wind-down time and during sleep. Additionally, Restore 2 features a sunrise alarm clock which utilizes slowly brightening sunrise tones to kickstart a real-time hormone change in your body that makes it easier to wake up and helps you feel less drowsy during the day. 

Finding the Best Light Color for Sleep with Hatch

So, what color(s) of light help you sleep? And, what are the best light colors for sleep? Well, everyone’s different, so there is no one magical answer here. Luckily, our in-house sleep experts have come up with some guidelines to help you find the best colors or color combinations that work for you. All of the recommendations below are available with Hatch Restore 2 bedside sleep guide and Hatch Membership. 

Wind-Down Colors 

Give your circadian rhythm bedtime signals by avoiding blue light and instead using hues that mimic the natural colors of the setting sun. Deep orange, yellow, red, and peach tones are all great for helping your body wind down after a long day. You’ll want to lower the brightness of these colors until you’ve got soft, warm light in your room; this lighting helps relieve stress and prepare your body for sleep. Hatch Restore 2 offers a dozen wind-down colorscapes that imitate natural evening color changes to help ease you into sleep.  

Sleep Colors

If you can, our experts recommend that you try sleeping in the dark. However, we know that sometimes that’s not possible, especially for parents of babies or young children. So, whether you need a nightlight or just prefer to have some kind of light in your room while you sleep, no worries! We’ve got you covered. 

We recommend using a solid color for your overnight, and red light is the best color option for a couple of reasons. Red light helps regulate your melatonin production, which plays a key role in getting good sleep. Red light also helps your eyes adjust to the dark, making it easier to fall back asleep if you do wake up during the night. If you aren’t a fan of plain red light, choose something without too much blue to stay sleeping peacefully. 

Sunrise Colors

Using a sunrise alarm helps stimulate cortisol, the hormone that helps your body wake up naturally. Sunrise alarm clocks like Hatch Restore 2 work by mimicking the sunrise, starting with soft light that slowly brightens into white light similar to daylight before your wake-up alarm sounds. 

All of the Restore 2’s sunrise color options are engineered to help your body wake up, so choosing the right one is all about personal preference.

Light plays an important role in our natural sleep cycle, and it should be a part of your bedtime routine if it isn’t already. Learn more about how Hatch Restore 2 can help you create the perfect routine and shop the Restore 2 to see why 75% of users reported feeling more confident about getting good sleep.