Helpful Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
When it comes to bedtime, many people have a transition period before they instantly fall asleep. Most of us settle down from the day and eventually nod off by watching television or reading in bed. It is completely fine to relax this way before bed, but, be sure to sleep in complete darkness after that settling down period to help the brain to naturally produce the melatonin much needed for sleep.
According to a new study that took place at the United States National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, women who sleep with artificial light in their room may have a higher risk of gaining weight. These results are based on an investigation that included close to 44,000 women between the ages of 35 and 74. None of the subjects had issues typically related to sleep disturbances, such as being a shift worker, a habit of daytime sleeping, or being pregnant. Yet those who reported sleeping with a light on were 17 percent more likely to put on 11 pounds or more during a five-year period. The only form of light in a room NOT associated with this gain was a small nightlight.
How Nighttime Light Contributes to Weight Gain
The biggest problem with nighttime light is that it prevents adequate production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone essential in maintaining a proper circadian rhythm, basically that means it sets our internal clocks to know that we are supposed to sleep when it’s dark outside and be energized when it is light outside.
However, too much artificial light during the hours that we should be sleeping can mess up this delicate balance. And a 2017 study at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom showed that both men and women who get an insufficient amount of sleep most nights have a greater likelihood of being overweight and having a bigger waist, as well as higher blood sugar levels, decreased thyroid function, and increased inflammation.
Set Yourself Up for Healthy Sleep
So, what can you do to ensure a better quality of sleep and lower your risk of gaining extra pounds? As the current research suggests, it’s important to remove the sources of light from your room. If you fall asleep to the television nightly because you like listening to something as you drift off, try a white noise machine that offers soothing nature sounds or music and set it for a certain length of time. Or put your bedroom television on a timer so it shuts itself off shortly after you go to sleep so its not tricking your body signals.
Additionally, keep lights off in your bedroom as well as in the hallway if you leave your door open. Choose a low wattage night light if you’re worried about falling during nighttime trips to the bathroom. And don’t bring devices like your cell phone, laptop, or tablet to bed, because the light they emit is just as detrimental to your sleep because the blue wavelength may trick your brain into thinking its daytime. If you use your cell phone to wake you in the morning, buy an old-fashioned alarm clock to do the job instead. These devices are also high in EMF, which is dangerous to sleep with EMF emitting devices too close to the body. Electric alarm clocks with a plug are particularly high in EMFs, so a battery operated one is much safer and lower in EMFs.
Any devices you do use before bed, make sure you install a red light application on, like F.lux. Blue light, whether from the sun or a laptop, is very effective at inhibiting melatonin production — thus reducing both the quantity and quality of your sleep. You can set these applications for your typical bed and wakeup time and they will adjust cool hues to red hues to mitigate melatonin production disruption.
Consider Blue Light Blocking Glasses
There are many benefits to wearing blue light blocking glasses 3 hours before bed.
Amber-tinted glasses offer the easiest and most effective way to avoid blue light exposure at night. These glasses effectively block all blue light. Thus, your brain doesn't get the signal that it is supposed to stay awake. Studies show that when people use blue-light-blocking glasses, even in a lit room or while using an electronic device, they produce just as much melatonin as if it were dark. In one study, people's melatonin levels in the evening were compared across dim light, bright light, and bright light with tinted glasses.
The bright light almost completely suppressed melatonin production, while the dim light did not. Notably, those wearing the glasses produced the same amount of melatonin as those exposed to dim light. The glasses largely canceled out the melatonin-suppressing effect of the bright light. Moreover, blue-light-blocking glasses have been shown to spur major improvements in sleep and mental performance.
Additional Healthy tips to ensure a better night’s sleep
We have found that 75% of clients that we put on 3 – 4 Triple Magnesium/Triple Calcium (you can purchase on our website), sleep much better. This also helps people with sluggish bowels and helps many relief headaches, as well as lowering blood pressure.
For those busy-brained people out there who can’t seem to shut their brains off, taking 2 Stress Calming Factors 2 times per day is very helpful.
For more stubborn cases, adding in some Sweet Dreams will do the trick. Some people have to do all of the above for restful sleep.