Pillow TalkⓇ - Questions and Answers About Sleep

Questions and Answers About Sleep

Hi, I am going thru a major depression and one of the results is that I don't sleep well. I sleep in a bedroom with blinds which allow in a significant amount of outside light (parking area lights for our townhouse complex) during the night. I use a eye mask which I find comfortable, well-fitting, and quite effective at blocking light. However, I've read that our bodies have light receptors in the gut and lack of total darkness can disrupt all sorts of processes in the body. So, is an eye mask sufficient or should the bedroom also be pitch black?

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You should use what works.

My husband like to watch television while I am trying to sleep. First we got the wireless headphones so that I didn't have to hear the noise. Recently, I started wearing an eye mask because the different flashing lights from the TV screen would wake me up.

Blackout curtains are another good option. I don't usually need both, but there are days that I do. Try them and see if this helps.

But understand that emotional mood affects sleep. When I went through a particular hard time in my life and had anxiety, I could not sleep well or deeply. Depression also affects sleep and there is a cycle that starts to happen.

Try the options I talked about, but also include something for the depression. Take care of the whole body.
Thanks for the reply. I'm looking for advice on whether the bedroom needs to be completely dark, regardless of whether an eye mask is used. I ask not from the point of view of what works for me, but what is biologically necessary for good sleep. To be more precise, does our body detect light while sleeping even if our eyes are in total darkness? Seems like an odd question, but that's what an article I read seemed to suggest.

Oh yeah, the depression and anxiety are the real issue and I am trying all sorts of things to sort that out. But I'm wondering if a sleep-related issue might be the underlying cause - sleep apnea possibly, or something else. So I'm trying to address all possible sleep issues.

I think you need to sleep in total darkness and I know of this site that sell a 7 piece low tech cloth kit that does the trick for just $19.99

that is where you go to order
Hey, thanks a lot of the info. Sounds interesting, though I don't see any pics of the product on their website, which is pretty odd. I sent them an email.
We just posted a story on how light affects your body during sleep. Check it out: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=huIX...
Hmmm, seems like it covers the standard stuff – avoid light in the middle of the night, turn off electronic devices which emit light, and use light blocking curtains or an eye mask.

My original question was whether light blocking curtains are necessary if u use an eye mask.

hey if you want to see more pics about home decor fabrics see the link below.. http://www.atmospheredirect.com

Hey Doug.....
You expressed that you thought a sleep issue may be an underlying cause of the depression...It's interesting that you say that because it is a fact that sleep disorders are often overlooked and misdiagnosed as depression. I'm not saying this is the case with you, but it definitely was the case with me....

I was misdiagnosed with depression multiple times by multiple doctors. Eventhough I have had sad times in my life I never really felt like I was truly depressed, but after being told that so many times I just kind rolled with that answer. I mean, at least it was an answer. My main symptoms were fatigue and exessive daytime sleepiness...this led to MANY many other problems which all painted a picture that looked like depression..... but then I got a sleep study done. I do in fact have Narcolepsy and have been taking medicine for it ever since I was diagnosed. My quality of life has drastically improved.

Alright so that's just my story and I'm definitely not a doctor, but I am an advocate of sleep studies. You can have a sleep study done to find out if you do suffer from sleep apnea or any other sleep disorders. If not, I would recommend calling a specialist who does do sleep studies (Usually a Clinical NeuroScience Center).....They should at least be able to accurately answer your question regarding the human body's sensitivity to light and how it affects our wake and sleep cycles.

Good luck buddy...hope everything goes well. Keep us posted!
Hi Rebeka,
In my case I think it's a long shot but I intend to follow up with my doctor about the possibility of sleep apnea. Sorry to hear about your situation but that's good that you have found some resolution. Good luck to u as well. Thx again.
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