This Light Bulb Could Be the Key to a Better Night’s Sleep

It was designed to help astronauts maintain normal snoozing schedules in space.

Image via Lighting Science

We are all very, very tired. Just 42 percent of American adults get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, according to a recent Gallup poll, and too much screen time before bed—pre-shut-eye TV, computer, or smartphone use—is only making the problem worse.

But what if getting more z’s were as easy as buying a light bulb? That’s the concept behind Lighting Science’s Good Night Biological LED Lamp, which the company says will help “to regulate your body's natural circadian rhythm.”

If this sounds far-fetched, know that the specialized light bulb was actually developed by NASA contractors to help astronauts get enough sleep while in space. Even your standard white bulb emits some blue light, which interferes with the production of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. The Good Night light, by contrast, puts out significantly less blue.

“When you go home at night and turn on the lights and TV, your body gets signals that it is daytime,” Lighting Science’s Robert Soler explained to a NASA publication. “If you have a regular light on next to your bed while you are reading and trying to prepare for sleep, it is suppressing the melatonin production in your body, and when you are ready to go to sleep, your body is not.”

Of course, the bulb will not do its magic if used in conjunction with blue-light-emitting technologies like TV and smartphones.

Image via Lighting Science

For those with the opposite problem—trouble waking up in the morning—Lighting Science makes an Awake & Alert bulb, which emits copious amounts of blue. Groggy mornings no more!

Though neither bulb has yet to travel into space, retired NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria told USA Today he hopes the lights will help space crews wake up in the morning, stay sharp during the day, and feel appropriately sleepy at night.

(Via Cool Hunting)

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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