Blue Light vs. Sleep
Your phone is on the nightstand, the little light is blinking, indicating that someone somewhere has pushed some button that is now causing your phone to blink. Who could it be? The anticipation builds. No is that waiting until morning. An hour later you close out of your social media sites and news applications and try to get to bed. We are all guilty of this. The problem now is that your body is definitely NOT ready for sleep.
The culprit in this case is most likely blue light. Blue light is packed in to television screens, computer monitors, tablets and smartphones. Many scientists claim that blue light is actually contributing to the sleep epidemic in our nation in a big way. Blue light is widely known to suppress the secretion of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps to control your circadian rhythm. Because of blue lights effect on the circadian rhythm, it has also been linked to diabetes, obesity and even cancer. It is becoming even more important to put the phone down, turn the lights and TV off and get good sleep.
Four Ways To Beat Blue Light:
- Go Outside Blue light throws your body's natural rhythm off by making it think that it is daytime, even if it isn't. You can combat this by going outside and getting tons of natural light during the day. This helps to alert your body that it should be awake during these times and can help to get your body back in to its natural circadian rhythm.
- Set A Routine Our bodies are cyclical, and function at their best when there is routine in place. By doing the same things each night before bed, you are essentially psyching your body up for bedtime the closer you get to your pillow. Eventually, you will be ready to hit the hay at the same time each night without any help!
- Turn Out The Lights You will sleep best if your bedroom is as dark as possible. Turn down the shades and install black out blinds or curtains to reduce the amount of outdoor light making its way into your bedroom. Even a small amount of light can be disruptive.
- Ban It From The Bedroom It is best if there is no temptation, therefore it might be best to turn your bedroom into a tech free zone. If that is impossible to do, limit usage to a minimum and turn the TV off at least 30 minutes before you want to be asleep. The goal is to be completely free of all technology that emits blue light in the bedroom.
Once you are ready for sleep, make sure you are getting your best sleep on the best mattress possible. Make sure it is comfortable and supportive of your body type. Also, make sure your pillows support your head and neck in order to reduce strain. Do you have any post bedtime best practices that you would like to share?