Poor Sleep

Can't get a good night's rest?

For most of us, nothing makes us feel better than a good night’s sleep. And yet, for millions of people, every night is the same: you’re exhausted and fall into bed and go straight to sleep, only to wake a few hours later and lie there staring up at the ceiling in the dark, or glaring at your alarm clock, wondering ‘Why?!’ Or, you can’t fall asleep no matter what you do, and so you toss and turn for what seems like an eternity, getting more frustrated with every moment you are not sleeping.


And then, like clockwork, your alarm goes off and you find yourself once again exhausted, grumpy and feeling like you don’t know how you are going to make it through another day. You can’t understand why it is so hard to get a good night’s sleep – just once!


There are many reasons why you may not be sleeping well including too much caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime, stress and anxiety. There are also medical conditions including various sleep disorders (obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, etc.) which may be the underlying cause. Any medical condition or sleep disorder needs to be treated by a medical professional and if you believe this is the case with you, we recommend you consult your physician.


That said, there are many other, more common reasons, why you are not sleeping like a baby:

 

Does this sound like you?

  • Work indoors, especially in an environment with little direct sunlight

  • Play indoors

  • Spend less than 1 hour in direct sunlight

  • Spend time watching TV or on computer in evening hours, especially prior to bedtime

  • Make at least 1 trip to bathroom during night with some exposure to even dim light

If this is how you spend most of your days – and nights – then it is very possible the primary reason you are not sleeping well is because your circadian rhythm – your internal ‘body clock’ – is out of sync as a result of your daily lifestyle.

The fact is we evolved to function at our peak when exposed to bright sunlight within the first hour of waking each morning. This pulse of morning light tells our body it’s time to wake up, be alert and productive.

As importantly, we evolved to have the deepest, most restful sleep in an environment that becomes gradually darker in the hour before bedtime – and – that does not expose us to any light (especially blue and green wavelengths) during our sleep phase.

 


Here's the problem:

Working indoors away from direct sunlight confuses our brain – it thinks since it’s relatively dark, we must want to go to sleep and so it releases some melatonin, which in turn makes us feel sluggish and groggy during our day.

We spend most of our evenings relaxing indoors in front of the TV or computer. TV screens and computer monitors both emit a high level of blue light, and sitting in front of either in the hour before going to bed is one of the worst things we can do for our sleep pattern, since it confuses the brain even further (our brain is getting ready for night-time yet is receiving this signal to suppress melatonin and be alert).
Research has shown that when we are sleeping, any light – EXCEPT RED – that penetrates our eyelids will disrupt melatonin secretion and decrease the quality of our sleep.

Most people do not have black-out curtains and often have a clock radio by their bedside with blue or green displays. This light, however dim – and especially if blue or green – will interfere with our melatonin signal and can impair our sleep.

Most of us get up at least once in the night to use the bathroom, check on the children, etc.

Young children often prefer to sleep with a dim light on in their bedroom.

Exposure to light of any color other than RED – however dim, however brief – during that trip to the bathroom or to check on the children will interrupt our melatonin and send a signal to our brain to wake up – so our ability to go back to sleep can be affected.

The same applies to a child. Exposure to any light other than RED when they are sleeping will affect the quality of their sleep.

 

 

Here's the solution:

Get daily exposure to bright light especially in the first hour of waking: For most of us, getting exposure to 30 minutes of direct sunlight on a daily basis is not practical. The Litebook® offers a convenient, portable solution that enables you to get the light you need, every day.


Avoid bright light in the evening, especially from TV and computer monitors: Light-blocking glasses are meant to be worn in the evening at home, especially while watching TV or working on the computer. The high-quality lenses block 93% of blue-wavelength light but do not distort colors and in fact, sharpen the clarity of both images and text. Wearing glasses will enable you to wind down as your body prepares you for sleep, naturally and on schedule.

For More information about Blue Light Blocking Glasses & Sleep benefits:

https://authoritynutrition.com/block-blue-light-to-sleep-better/

(posted with permission from authoritynutrition.com)

 

Avoid exposure to any light when sleeping: Even the dimmest light can penetrate closed eyelids and affect the quality of your sleep.
Avoid exposure to light when visiting the bathroom during the night: Red is the only color of light that does not interrupt melatonin, so place a RED L.E.D. night light in the hallway, bathroom, child’s bedroom, etc. so you can navigate safely in the dark and yet not affect your ability to return to bed and go back to sleep.

 


General usage instructions:

The Litebook® should be positioned approximately 20-24 inches from your face, and should be offset at a 30 to 45 degree angle, like sunlight coming in a window.

The Litebook's® light beam must be directed at your eyes, and your eyes must be open to achieve benefit.

The Litebook’s® light beam is very bright – like the sun – in order to provide the benefit you seek. You do not stare at The Litebook® – as you do not stare at the sun – although it is not harmful to glance at it occasionally.

Typically, you will recognize when you've received sufficient light - most often by feeling of heightened alertness, energy, and/or mood.