In this podcast episode:
Hello, this is Richard Jacobs with the good nights sleep project podcast. Say I want to talk to you about Light, so light is supercritical. What light does is it tells your body essentially what time it is a that happens day at night. It happens you know, early morning the light that you'll see if you're up at dawn is more yellowish and orangish it quickly turns blue that signals you to wake up and signals your body to stop producing Melatonin and to get ready for the day and then in the evening, the light again turns from a blue character to more like an Orangey, reddish, sunset color and again that's there to signal your body that okay, the day is done. You want to start winding down and you're ready for sleep and as you know the past hundred years or so we've had fake light.
We have lights everywhere in our houses on phones at our office etc. and all these lights are telling your body something so I go to sleep extremely late and get up very late. I usually go to bed three in the mornings, sometimes four, and get up at like 11 or noon. I've been doing this for 20 years, so light is supercritical. The last three or four hours of my sleep if I didn't do something about it, I would have tons of light coming into my room and I wouldn't be able to sleep. So I've gotten blackout curtains which helps me to reduce the light in the room tremendously. I also put a sleep mask on which further reduces the light, and that helps me not get the signals to wake up when I shouldn't be waking up. So that's one big way in which you can modify the light coming into your room and help yourself sleep better.
So you may not go to sleep as late as I do but if the sun rises at a 6:00 AM where you live and you go to bed at 10 fine, you've had eight hours of darkness and now the sunrises at six and you're ready to go but what happens if you go to bed at midnight, there are a lot of people who do, the sunrise at six it's only been six hours so the last two hours of your sleep may be compromised. You may wake up a lot or not sleep fitfully and that'll really compromise your sleep.
You may not think it's a big deal to get six hours instead of eight, but it's been shown in many studies to affect you cognitively. You can't think as well, your reaction time slows. Usually, you get more irritable because your sleep quality has been impaired. I mean there are many factors that come from short sleeping or from not sleeping enough.
So one important thing to note is what time is sunrise, where you live and how dark is your room and what time are you going to bed? Ideally what you want to do is look at sunrise and be in bed ready to go to sleep eight hours before that so the entire time you sleep, you're in the darkness that's really the best way to do it. That's naturally the best way.
Again, if you can't do that and your clock has shifted for whatever reason, try to make sure most of your sleep, if not all of it is in darkness get an eye mask if you need it, blackout curtains that kind of thing. Another thing in terms of light is preparing for bed. So if you're looking at your phone, if looking at your computer, then you shut off the lights and try and go to bed right away.
Well, your body has just two seconds ago, got the signal to wake up instead of to go to sleep. So it's going to take you longer to fall asleep and that's why some people get onset insomnia and they'll lay there for an hour or two hours wondering what's going on. They may even take Melatonin and say I can't fall asleep, but they may not realize that they are not preparing their bodies for sleep. Your body needs a bit of time to react. So once your body stops receiving the signal of blue light daytime and you know would have got enough lighting, it then starts to produce Melatonin. But it doesn't do it at the drop of the hat and it takes time. So again, you want to look at while you're sleeping, no lights early morning sunlight. See if you could block it out if you need to sleep.
When you're preparing for bed, don't expose yourself to a lot of light, really bright light before bed during your sleep in your room, even led lights from the clock, from the computer, from wherever there can be plenty of light to disrupt your sleep. There are also studies where people slept in the room with a few small LEDs that comes from an air conditioner. Again, a computer or a phone, whatever it is, it may not seem like much light, but it's plenty enough to disrupt your sleep and your sleep will suffer tremendously if you sleep in a room like that.
I encourage you to have a pitch-black room if you need to get up in the middle of the night, have a nightlight. But again here the choices, regular nightlight when you turn it on, you're like, ah or a reddish very low intensity, nightlight red, and orange. It would be the best and still light your path. But you don't want to make it very bright so you can go to the bathroom and go back to bed quickly turn that light off, not stub your toe but still be able to get back to sleep.
There are even more ways that light can affect you but these are just some of them. So when you think about your sleep, think about the light component and how you can modulate that and how you can help yourself. One last tip I'll give you is this free app for android and iPhone and laptops F.LUX it'll tell it when sundown occurs and it'll change your screen from bluish light to reddish, orange light so you don't get that signal to keep you awake.
You could also do this again on iPhone and android and now phones themselves are starting to have this feature. Some call it comfort view, look for it on your phone and at least any devices you look at, make sure that they go reddish and sundown, or at least two hours before bed cause again, that lights came disrupting.
Another tip is if you have a hard time waking up in the morning and this is not fun, but you could expose yourself deliberately to tons of sunlight as soon as you wake up or as soon as you're supposed to wake up, no fun to wake up like that but the sooner that you expose yourself to bright sunlight when you need to wake up, the sooner you will awaken and not feel as groggy for as long and the sooner you're a clock starts on your day and you'll actually find that you get tired a little bit earlier and hopefully that helps you go to sleep earlier.
So there are all my bright ideas on light up that helps you if you need any more help with your sleep visit https://www.goodnightssleepproject.com/ the whole goal of the company is to help you have a great night's sleep seven nights a week, so if you have zero nights right now, we can get you to one through our teachings and what we sell.
If you're at four or five, can we get you to six or seven? That's the goal here. The more nights a week you sleep better, the better you feel, the better you will treat people around you and all your relationships. The more you'll succeed at work, the better you'll perform athletically, the less you'll age, and the less sickness you may have. I mean, it's unbelievable. All the wonderful things that great sleep does. So again https://www.goodnightssleepproject.com/