September 22, 2015

uncommon tips for a better sleep

uncommon tips for a better sleep

Tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox and while I’m clinging to summer, and my summer clothes, I must admit I do love the crisp-air, sweater-weather and hot cocoa season.

The first day of autumn is signal to all of us that it’s time to update our wardrobe, our makeup colours, skincare products and the foods we eat to meet the needs of the changing season, but it’s also a great time to look at how we’ve set ourselves up for “sleeping success” to ensure it’s not derailing everything else we’re doing to be healthy.

All day we’re surrounded by technology that emits artificial light and studies show that light hitting the eye at night, in particular blue light, can disrupt our natural circadian rhythms by suppressing melatonin production.  (Keep that in mind the next time you switch the lights on in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom as it only takes one second of light to stop melatonin production making it harder for you to fall back asleep)

Maintaining synchronized circadian rhythms is important to health and well-being.  A growing body of evidence suggests that a desynchronization of circadian rhythms may play a role in various tumoral diseases, diabetes, obesity, and depression.

~Dieter Kunz, director of the Sleep Research and Clinical Chronobiology Research Group at Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin

If you’ve ever watched a sunrise you’ll notice that the first light of the day is a really crisp blue/white light which lasts until early afternoon. As the sun begins to set the light spectrum changes to an orange light which helps to regulate our internal 24 hour clock.

The effects of sleep on our skin and overall appearance are countless (they don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!), but if we’re constantly exposed to devices that emit blue light after sunset then the lack of quality sleep is going to be annoyingly evident.

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So, in today’s modern world how can we limit our exposure to blue light in the evening without feeling like we’re vampires hanging out in darkness?

  1. If you tend to work on your computer at night be sure to download the software f.lux. It adjusts the color of your computer screen to adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day
  2. Wear blue-blocking glasses like this oneOakley’s Radar Range sunglasses with Persimmon lens or a pair from Gunnar
  3. Have a low-blue nightlight
  4. Use a cover for your iPhone or iPad 
  5. Use lots of beeswax or soy based candles around your house at night so you don’t need to have as many lights on. Plus they give off such a relaxing glow!

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  • Those glasses seems a bit overkill ?

    For some reason I’m not as affected by blue lights as they say you should, I can actually become naturally tired from the blue light. It reminds me of the light from a full moon ?
    And may I add that I come from a background of insomnia and have always had difficulties falling asleep even when I’ve been completely exhausted. Haven’t had that problem since I ditched all kinds of stimulants in my diet (no matcha tea or green tea for me!) and started eating more bananas haha (bananas contains tryptophan, magnesium and b-vitamins which controls the body’s ability to rest) And from all I can recall, I’ve had some of my deepest sleeps from checking/playing on the phone right before I go to sleep! ?

    While I do think different colored lights do affect us and the healthiest would be to watch the sunset, and then prepare for sleep, I’m not totally against the blue light and think the majority of disrupted sleep and tiredness comes from all the stimulants and heavy diet, also eating late at night could have an impact. But for instance I do better with less sleep nowadays, and I never feel like taking a nap unless I’m sick, to the contrast of before I was constantly tired and couldn’t live without my afternoon nap even on days I had no activity!

    Btw came across someone pointing out that watching the sunrise and its colors opens up our chakras, and that it is important to then watch the sunset and its colors for it closes our chakras for the day. Pretty cool I think ☺️

    • Oh come now I think you would look gorgeous rocking a pair of those amber glasses 😉

      I always say everyone is different so interesting to note your experience!

      And that’s 100% cool…and makes perfect sense 🙂

      • I’m still surprised that fashion hasn’t yet gone all metallic and plastic and that the latest fashion trend is to go around in Astronauts suits ?
        At least the Apple watch is all on trend!

  • Clever tips! All of those! It’s completely true, blue light emissions damage our sleep quality. So it’s only da Kindle in bed.

    My #1 and #2 and #3 top tips for a great night’s sleep would be: a minimalist bedroom with some particularly cosy, dimmed lighting; natural linen sheets (I told you about this the other day, the difference is wicked!); air the bedroom before you go to bed or if you can, leave open a window. At night even metropolis air is fresh. This tip doesn’t apply to pollen season tho.

    In addition to #1, I always believed the stance that working at night was some creative curse or something, until I realised that it’s just wishful thinking. We are not more creative at night, we are just less disturbed. The fact remains: you are at your most creative peak when well-rested. Just turn off that Facebook app, that Twitter app and that ping from your Email and close YouTube – and show up 🙂

    As for #5 personally, I feel *instantly* drowsy when the lights go down, so I turn them down around 9pm, not sooner. Oh, and candlelight dinner you ask? Sure thing, as long as the gentleman doesn’t mind me cuddling up in my chair, sound asleep! 😀

    • I never thought about that before, but you’re right. Night time is less busy and therefore our less pre-occupied mind can turn to its creative pathways and tune in to what ideas it wants us to pay attention to.

      Soft, cozy sheets and crisp night air sounds like the perfect thing to help lull you to sleep and thank you for introducing me to Windy! It’s incredibly calming and wonderful for quieting the mind and meditating 🙂 http://windy.fm/

      (p.s. I just pictured you curled up in a chair snoozing away as Olaf prepared some romantic dinner and I actually laughed out loud at my desk!)

      • I’m loving the thought that you <3 Windy. So cool!

        And don't you think sleep has still some bad rap, like sleeping equals lazyness or something. If I were hiring, I'd ask "when do you go to bed?" and "tell me your sleeping habits!" to shock their extensions off. (Yes, I read carefully ;))

        As for candlelight snoozing, dude is sure "woe-proved" as the Germans say 😀

        • I do!! I go to sleep to it every night now 🙂

          Sleep definitely has a bad rap in our “live to work” society. To me it seems as if there’s two perceptions of sleep: one, we try to cram as much ‘life’ into the hours we’re not at work so the thought of going to bed early means you’re missing out on enjoying a part of it and two, if you’re not working long hours then you’re not committed to advancing your career (definitely a view I see here in north america).

          As for me I take full pride in my afternoon naps and going to bed early when I want to!