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Want to Sleep Better?

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While modern technology has it’s benefits, frequent and constant exposure to artificial light, specifically blue light at night time, comes with a cost, one being the quality of our sleep. We are exposed to artificial light from our cell phones, iPads, computers/laptops, tv’s, kindles and even the overhead lights in our home.

If you have trouble falling asleep, or wake up feeling tired and lethargic even after getting a good 7 or 8 hours of sleep, this may be your problem.

You see, our bodies were not designed to be exposed to as much light as they are these days, specifically at nighttime.

Before the invention of artificial lighting, the sun was the major source of light with the exception of candles during the night hours. Other than that, people spent their evenings in relative darkness. Our circadian rhythm (our sleep and wake cycle/our biological clock), was naturally set by the rising and the setting of the sun. Nowadays our body has a hard time separating the evening from the day as our evening’s are illuminated.

It’s no wonder our body’s biological clock’s are thrown off.

Too much light at nighttime makes it much harder to go to sleep. causing us to toss and turn all night and ultimately wake up not feeling very rested despite our best efforts to get a good night’s sleep. Frustrating right?

So, why exactly does this happen?

There are tons of studies that now show that exposure to light at nighttime, specifically blue light, lowers the bodies natural production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that makes us sleepy. Compound this information with other studies that show that exposure to bright light from the sun during the day boosts melatonin levels at night, and you can see why we have a problem here.

Our modern lifestyles are typically spent indoor a majority of the day under fluorescent lighting that is not bright enough to produce the same melatonin boosting effects as the sun, and then we spend our evenings staring at screens that emit damaging blue light into the wee hours of the night.

So, how do we fix this problem without just living by candle light and quitting our day jobs to be/work out in the sunshine all day?

Here are a few simple things that you can do:

  • Avoid screen time at least 2-3 hours before bed. Ideally, you would avoid it as early as when the sun goes down.

If avoiding screens before bedtime is not realistic for you, I would HIGHLY recommend investing in some good quality blue light blocking glasses like the THESE!

Swannies Blue Light Blocking Glasses improve the quality of your sleep by filtering out harmful artificial blue light from electronic devices that shuts down your body’s natural melatonin production and disrupts your sleep. Swannies also prevent eye damage from excessive screen use as well as symptoms of digital eye strain such as sore eyes, headaches and fatigue.

I personally have been using Swannie’s blue light blocking glasses consistently for awhile now and have noticed a definite improvement in the quality of my sleep. I just put them on and wear them from about 8 pm-10 pm when I aim to go to bed. I used to take a long time to fall asleep, frustratingly tossing and turning around while my husband lay their snoring after just 1 minute of his head hitting the pillow. After wearing these glasses, I have noticed I fall asleep what feels like, just as quickly. I also wake up feeling more rested. After experimenting for awhile with wearing these glasses, I one night forgot to wear them and did not sleep nearly as good that night.

If you won’t be purchasing blue light blocking glasses, there are apps on most devices now that will allow you to filter the blue/green wavelength at night as well. I would encourage you to download these apps on all of your devices if possible.

  • Expose yourself to natural bright light during the day as much as possible, ideally in the early morning and also when the sun is brightest around noon. Take a short walk outside first thing in the morning, eat your lunch outside if the sun is out, take a walk outside around your work building during breaks if you can, etc.

It is important that we aim to do BOTH of these things and not just one or the other. We need to limit blue light/artificial lights at night but ALSO get more natural sunlight during the day.

Here’s to hopefully more restful and deeper night sleeps!

 

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