Why Not to Have Red Lights On at Night, Myth Debunked


Many people and experts believe that red light is beneficial to get a good sleep every night. But others disagree. What’s the truth behind this? In this post, we will try to answer the issue as comprehensively as possible. Why not to have red lights on at night? Is there any truth in it?

Sleeping Disorders Among Adults

To date, many adults are suffering from numerous sleep disorders. You have insomnia, sleep apnea, and even restless leg syndrome, to name a few. There are different reasons for having a sleep disorder. It could be due to existing health conditions, but the most common is due to stress.

Having said that, it isn’t surprising that you encounter people searching for home remedies to improve their sleep quality. Some use noise sound machines and even take supplements. Others also try new techniques, such as using a red light for sleeping. The last one is quite controversial because the studies and research about red light are still limited, and it is challenging to drive a solid conclusion. However, let’s see what are the recent findings so far.

According to US Scientists, using red light at night is more beneficial to your health compared to blue or white lighting. And if you spend more time using red light, the better its effects will be. Take note that the study was conducted on hamsters wherein they had fewer depression-like symptoms. In addition, it was reported that they improved the quality of sleep.

Red Light to Combat Sleep Inertia

Why Not to Have Red Lights On at Night

Are you familiar with sleep inertia? It’s the groggy and drowsy feeling whenever you wake up. This could affect your alertness, memory, and overall performance. There was a specific study where the saturated red light was used, and the participants showed a lesser risk of sleep inertia after waking up.

Is it Bad to Sleep with Red Lights On?

The answer could be yes or no, depending on the red light that you use. According to experts, if you choose LED light, that could produce blue wavelengths. In that case, that could suppress melatonin as well and could negatively affect your sleep. If you are to choose, make sure that it is tungsten. This is easier to determine as the light it produces is warm, and it could be hot to touch.

Office Workers and Red Light

The aforementioned studies are relevant, most especially to those who work at night. They believe if a red light is used, they could have better health.

In addition, a research that was published in 2019 revealed that those who used red light and white light in the afternoon have an improved circadian rhythm. It showed better alertness at work, even during lunch time wherein people have the least energy. Considering the scale of the research, we cannot say that this is conclusive.

Night Vision Impaired by White Light

Do you know why red lights are used in submarines and cockpits? It’s because red lights are non-glaring. This means you can see better. On the other hand, bright white light during nighttime can cause strain on your eyes. And that is why it isn’t recommended

Meanwhile, let’s watch a short video from a person who used red light for 60 days.

Blue and White Light and Its Effects at Night

Most likely, you’ve already heard that bright lights and blue glow could be disadvantageous when you sleep. Thus, we want you to avoid your gadgets hours before your bedtime. You might not notice it, but it could eventually disrupt your sleep. In the long run, it will affect not just your productivity but your health in general.

Where do you usually get these blue and white lights that could hamper one from getting quality sleep? Here’s a quick guide for you.

  • computer screens
  • LED lights
  • cellphones
  • tablets
  • fluorescent lights

Complete Darkness is Still the Best

Experts still suggest sleeping in complete darkness instead of using a red light. They believe that not using any artificial light is the best option and that nighttime exposure could suppress the secretion of melatonin. Melatonin, if you must know, is a hormone highly responsible for the sleep-wake cycle.

Speaking of complete darkness, this might be a challenge for other people. It could be that their home is located in the city, where lights outside are still overwhelming. Or maybe, you are sharing a room with someone who wants the lights on.

What could be the best solutions? We recommend that you get an eye mask or a curtain that could block off the lights. Here are a few of our favorite products.

Unimi Sleep Mask

Why Not to Have Red Lights On at Night, Myth Debunked - Tip Top Sleep

Check the latest price on Amazon. 

This sleep mask can completely block the lights and is ergonomically-designed. That means, you won’t have a hard time wearing this throughout the night. And if you worry about the heat, this mask can guarantee a cool sleep as well. It won’t even put any pressure on your eyeballs, which most masks are notorious for. If you are not happy with their product, their customer support is always available to resolve your issues.

Apart from giving you a good rest, this product can also help those suffering from migraines. Its current users can attest to its quality. And they believe it’s reasonably-priced too.

BGment Blackout Curtains for Bedroom 

Why Not to Have Red Lights On at Night, Myth Debunked - Tip Top Sleep

Check the latest price on Amazon. 

These blackout curtains can block sunlight and UV rays. We recommend that you get the darker colors to reap its maximum benefits. It’s also thermal-insulated, which you can use during hot or cold seasons. Since it is machine-washable, cleaning it would be a breeze too.

One of its users claimed that this is the best blackout curtain she tried. They were battling their neighbor’s motion light for quite some time, and this is the only product that worked.


We hoped we already answered your concern, Why Not to Have Red Lights On at Night. 

In a nutshell, complete darkness is recommended. However, for people who are not used to turning off their lights completely, a red light is the next best option. Also, if you believe you might be suffering from a sleep disorder, it’s best to consult a sleep specialist. Even if you use the best red lights or drink melatonin gummies, your condition will not be managed properly without the help of professionals.

By Michelle D.

Meet Michelle, founder of Tip Top Sleep, a website dedicated to helping you achieve the best sleep possible. With over 50 years of combined experience in the realm of sleep, Michelle and her team provide easy-to-follow tips and strategies to help you feel better, function better, and live better through optimal sleep. Let us help you prioritize your sleep and discover the power of a good night's rest.