“Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year olds” ~ JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom
Are you getting enough ZZZZzzzz’s?
Sleep is not the cousin of death. It is the time for restoring and repairing your body. Did you know that you would die of sleep deprivation before you would die of starvation? We evolved on an abundance of sleep. Only in the last century or so have we been increasingly exposed to artificial light, television, and the internet. You can’t eat your way out of a sleep deficit and you can’t exercise your way out either! And, what’s the big deal about light at night? It’s tricking your body into thinking it’s daytime. And, this messes with your circadian rhythms. (source: MarksDailyApple.com)
(photo credit: wikipedia.org)
According to this article, Blue Light has a dark side from Harvard Health Publications, “Light at night is bad for your health, and exposure to blue light emitted by electronics and energy-efficient light bulbs may be especially so.” Blue light regulates our production and secretion of melatonin. It’s the sleep hormone. When we expose ourselves to blue light, we limit our production of melatonin. So, being around artificial light before going to bed at night shuts down melatonin production. Check out this article, Lack of Sleep, Light at Night can Raise Cancer Risk.
Also, there’s a book called, Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival. It’s actually pretty poorly written, but the science behind it makes it worth the read. 🙂
Blue Light = Daylight … NOT Late Night!
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” ~ Irish Proverb
Half-Tortoise Pose might lend you the equivalent of 8 sleeping hours, but here are some additional tips for better sleep:
1. Sleep in a dark room. Can’t get it dark enough? Try blackout window curtains to help experience total darkness.
2. Go to bed early – before 10pm, if you can.
“An hour before midnight is worth 2 after.” ~ Proverb
3. Get colder. Keep your thermostat around 65-68 degrees at night.
4. Decrease or eliminate your usage of electronics after dark.
5. Wear orange safety goggles at night to block out the blue component of artificial light. This helps to maximize melatonin naturally. Check out lowbluelights.com or Uvex Skyper Orange glasses….. my personal favorite, but you won’t win any fashion contests and you may need to ignore the unconsciously-derived comments from friends and family.
6. Read a book before bed instead of watching TV or grabbing for your laptop. It’s relaxing and tiring at the same time. Read while wearing the orange safety goggles listed above for the extra bonus of no blue light.
7. Expose yourself to blue light in the morning and throughout the day. Go outside and get fresh air. Even on a cloudy day, you’re exposing yourself to blue light.
8. Use candlelight at night. There’s nothing like a romantic evening while producing melatonin.
9. Install F.Lux. It reduces blue light emissions on your computer. And, it’s free for iphone and ipad!
10. Try a guided meditation.
11. Avoid caffeine after 2pm.
“Your life is a reflection of how you sleep, and how you sleep is a reflection of your life” ~ Dr. Rafael Pelayo
Come on over to the dark side ……….
This article was contributed by Jane Hill – fierce Bikram Yogi, lover of all things natural, and my best yoga buddy. Look for more articles by Jane in the Off the Mat Chats section of Views From the Podium coming soon!
(featured image: polyvore.com)