Improve Your Sleep – Why Sleep Matters
There has been increasing evidence in research reinforcing what we all understand intuitively: that a good night’s sleep is very beneficial, not only for our ability to function the following day, but for our overall health as well.
Prolonged deprivation of quality sleep poses serious health issues. Many of us know this quite well and can relate to the symptoms related to extreme fatigue. Yet, in the pace of daily living, we don’t always address this sleep issue as a priority. We continue with our routines just looking forward to the yet to realize time when our schedule can finally permit adequate sleep.
How Sleep Helps
The optimal duration of sleep, based on research findings, is stated to be between 7 to 9 hours in a 24 hour period with 7 being the absolute minimum for most people and 9 being more ideal. The difference it can make in one’s life is overwhelming. (See The Difference of One Hour of Sleep.)
To name just a few ways in which sleep impacts our health:
- Adequate and quality sleep reduces one’s propensity for chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, depression, and serious auto accidents in which impaired alertness from sleep loss is the frequent cause.
- General mental clarity, which is poorly impacted in sleep deprivation, improves with better sleep along with learning once the sleep pattern is improved.
- Metabolic syndrome and obesity are also in the highest rate of incidence among those suffering from prolonged sleep issues.
Given all of these health issues, our overall longevity will generally be impacted by our healthier sleeping patterns. In other words, we have an endless list of reasons to realize sleep DOES matter, and dismissing the issue can be seriously hazardous to your health.
How Artificial Light Affects Us
One very beneficial, naturally occurring hormone that boosts our chances for a good night’s rest is melatonin.
What most of us don’t realize is that when we are exposed to artificial light (“blue light”) in the evening time it causes us not to make as much melatonin as we otherwise would. This is particularly true with extensive usage of the blue light which comes from many of our electronics such as television, computer, ipad, and even cell phones.
These blue light appliances project twice the intensity of light (lux) as other artificial sources of household lighting. An hour of sitting in front of a TV screen emits as much as 2 hours of blue light from the lamps in the room.
Statistics reveal that 95 percent of Americans use such electronics in the last hour before their bedtime when melatonin production should be peaking. Unfortunately, around the globe, after the sun has set, we trick our bodies into thinking it should stay awake by exposing ourselves to light from our hand-held devices.
- For a graphic overview of lux light levels in various environments please go to http://use-ip.co.uk/datasheets/lux_light_level_chart.pdf
- For a detailed explanation, see How Artificial Light is Wrecking Your Sleep by Chris Kresser.
This One Trick Helps Dramatically Improve Sleep Instantly!
(How to Improve Your Sleep – 1-Step Trick)
The one trick that will dramatically help improve your ability to sleep and to also help you sleep soundly is to eliminate you exposure to blue light in the evening.
There are two ways you can do this:
First, you can avoid using devices that emit blue light after the sun goes down. This may only help, however, because for most people in today’s world, this is simply not possible.
There are amber or orange colored glasses that cast a warm glow the serves to eliminate the cool blue light effects of electronics. They work wonders at helping your body to rev up its melatonin production in the evening time while still allowing you to enjoy your device.
- The Uvex S1933X is a popular choices, and because it is adjustable, it will fit most children as well as adults.
- Orange glasses can also be available in a goggles form, Uvex S0360X, which can fit over your eyeglasses if needed. These can be found at a reasonable price.
Best of all, these amber or orange colored glasses are very affordable.