2 Easy Tune Ups for Better Sleep: Say No Artificial Light and Yes to the Circadian RhythmBy Austin Witherow
Two nights ago, I was wide awake after I’d already laid down for sleep.
This was really starting to be a drag. I just wanted to sleep again like I used to.
I decided to read up a bit about the Circadian Rhythm again, and with just a few tweaks of my artifical light intake and sleep schedule, I'm already sleeping so much better even just after 1 night. It's like my body was begging me to do this the whole time.
Here’s a little bit about what I found, and the two simple tuneups that have already changed my life in the last few days….
Sleep Science at the Khan Academy
First, a little bit of science on sleep. I love the Khan Academy, and have learned a lot (and admittedly had to relearn a lot) since basic schooling by just going through their videos. Always useful, no fluff, straight to it.
As you can see, sleep is pretty important, due to the multiple waves that our brain transitions throug. Each of these play an important role in memory processing, restorative body processes and deep relaxation.
It's clear, bad things begin to happen when you don't get enough sleep, so let's tackle some bad habits and start getting the sleep we need.
Did You Know that Your Devices are Sabotaging Your Sleep?
Melatonin, a natural secretion of our pineal gland, is directly responsible for regulating our sleep cycle.
When we are in natural rhythms of sleeping and waking, the pineal gland will secrete melatonin from around 9pm to around 9am.
When this is disrupted, so is our sleep, and our entire routine. What can we do to start getting back in sync with our Ciradian Rhythms?
Try this Simple Evening Digital Detox
In order to get the best sleep I could, I made a few rules:
- Night shift all devices (iOS and Mac, Android),
- no off harsh lighting and electronics no later than 9pm,
- and get to sleep with airplane mode on before 10:30pm.
There might be some alarm when looking at this... well what to do between 9pm and 10:30? Usually this time frame is done doing exactly what I just suggested to not do... Stare at the television.
Instead, try reading a book, enjoy time with loved ones or family, create something artistic, or at least consider figuring out how to night shift mode your television, or possibly invest in some silly looking (which I wear if I do work at night) Blue Light Blocking Glasses.
Once we’ve gotten getting to sleep done right, it’s time to focus on how we wake up.
The Power of Waking Up with the Sun
When we wake up with the Sun, and consciously craft our day from the moment we wake up, our entire day changes.
During the morning, our body tapers off melatonin secretion at sunrise, and also begins to secrete testosterone, which helps to regulate bone, muscle and metabolic health (yes it's a beneifical hormone for both men and women)
Not only is the morning time important to our physiology, but also critical in proper psychology. By synchronizing with the sun and pursuing a day of purpose, we feel better and accomplish more, which promotes restfulness in the evening.
The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day. It is a blessed baptism which gives the first waking thoughts into the bosom of God. - Henry Ward Beecher
So with some simple modifications, we can capitalise on our natural physiological and psychological processes with a simple morning routine.
Motivation and Movement in the Morning
By the way, I’d recommend keeping your phone on airplane mode until you’ve completed all these steps. It helps you stay focused and keeping calm.
- Wake up early to you can enjoy the sunrise,
- MAKE THE TIME to exercise,
- and set your intention for the day and go forth with purpose
After having implemented these two little habit routines at the end and beginning of my day, I’m already feeling much better. Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that make all the difference.
Also, I urge you to consider NOT wearing Sunglasses during the day, especially during the wintertime.
Sure, excessive sun exposure might be killing you, but healthy and moderate pure sun exposure is essential for homeostasis in our glandular system as humans... So, wearing sunglasses might be killing you, and definitely messing with your sleep cycle at least.
What about you?
What are you doing to get the sleep you deserve, or you still sabotaging your chances at a good night sleep?
How do you wake up in the morning and where are you steering your life with these choices?
Hit reply below and let me know how you’re doing, always here!