The Light Problem

One Week to Better Sleep Day 1: The Problem
4 minutes
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Transcript

Troubleshooting your sleep problems starts with looking backwards. What I'm getting at is that people oftentimes get into bed and find that they cannot fall asleep with a little bit anxious their mind is going, they just can't shut things off. The key point take home point here is that light disrupts sleep. Light disrupts melatonin production, which is one of the key triggers of how the body in the brain the mind perceives the need and the desire for sleep. And blue light will actually shut down that melatonin production by as much as 50% blue light from the phone, from computers, tablets, ambient light from bedside lamps, overhead lights, as little as eight to 10 locks which is really a low level of light if you just look around in your bedroom, and I challenge you to do this tonight. When you're getting ready for sleep and the room is dark, look around and see how many sources of light in there.

Is there a printer light fire or smoke detector, co2 detector alarm at the bedside your phone, your partner's device variety of things. It's very easy to exceed eight to 10 locks with really out that many devices in the room at all. And so that's probably why I use a variety of techniques when I travel to minimize ambient light exposure to boost sleep which can be disrupted by travel in and of itself as well. Bedroom discipline is really key. Bedroom lamps on average have about 20 to 80 locks and from the previous slide, you saw how little light intensity it takes to disrupt melatonin production. So if you're using a bedside lamp to read the delayed onset of melatonin release is really a key factor that can affect the quality and onset of sleep.

An average room particularly living room can have as much as 200 Lux so suggest that if you'd like to read before bed, which I do, probably don't do it in the most well lit room in the house or if you are in that room, shut off some extra lights save on your energy bill and help your melatonin release become acidic theologic as possible. The key here is print for the when the blue light emitted from devices like iPads, tablets, computers, phones, etc is massive and a huge issue with sleep hygiene. I coach and counsel a lot of patients and clients on sleep hygiene and issues that affect sleep and help them troubleshoot what's going on. And so print from the wind is a simple moniker and I've been surprised lately I've been traveling on planes I've seen increased number of people reading actual print books, compared to the standard Kindle or other tablets that I used to see years ago.

If you must use a device at night, then consider investing in some blue blocking blocking glasses. You can get these very inexpensively on Amazon, I've got pairs lying all around the house and then I've got some higher quality pairs from true dark that fit better and really do a job a great job maximizing the blue light reduction as well so and the other sort of biohacking trick or technique This is well vetted in the literature, I used to fly a lot. And anybody who's ever been in a cockpit at night, you understand that a lot of the instruments, particularly in some of the older planes emit a background red light. And the reason is that red is the least disruptive to the rods in the back to the retinal rods. And so it can also be used as a way to biohack your sleep, you know, you can get very inexpensive red bulbs, we have a ton of those lying around from Halloween, like kids did some decorating a few years back and then probably have 20 different red balls flying around.

My wife isn't so crazy about the look of it. But if you're somebody who likes to work at night or later at night, and keep later hours, you might consider investing in some red light as a source that is still bright enough to rebuy and get your work done or whatever you're doing, but it's not going to mess up the melatonin production when you actually pull the sheets up and try to shut the brain off and sleep. So I hope you found that helpful. Please comment if you have any questions, let me know. Sleep is truly the best Meditation

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