In the previous posts, we talked about the effect melatonin has on a wake-sleep cycle and circadian rhythm.
Those cycles and increases in melatonin production, a substance that contributes to sleepiness, are affected by the amount of daylight. Naturally when the sun rises the melatonin production decreases and vice versa when the sun sets, meaning it increases.
Now, the natural regulation of melatonin can be disturbed by artificial light.
Spending evenings in front of the TV or phone scenes is a regular occurrence. Many of us even have our home lid up brightly when it gets darker.
Unfortunately, that excess exposure to light signals our brain that we should stay awake. Melatonin levels do not manage to increase enough to make us sleepy and therefore it gets harder to fall asleep.
The disturbance in our internal clock can lead to more serious issues such as insomnia, if not treated.
Now, how do we prevent this from happening?
It is extremely simple. We limit our exposure to the bright light as evening comes.
One of the most practical tools to use is Casper Glow Light. It is a lamp that gradually dims its light at night, eliminating warm and relaxing tones.
It even has a function where the lights gradually light up in the morning. This means that it does not only combat your trouble at falling asleep, it even facilitates the easy introduction to the morning. The light sits on a charger and can be carried around as a night light.
Having a Casper Glow Light in your bedroom is quite convenient as it is small and keeps them feeling cozy. Having that cozy and relaxing feeling in your bedroom is great at times but what about other rooms?
The bright light coming from them greatly affects our sleeping cycles. That is why being able to regulate the level of brightness in your home as a whole would be perfect.
The solution even for that problem is really simple.
It is as simple as changing the lightbulb.
I use Philips Smart Bulbs that allows me to regulate the brightness all through my smartphone. Reducing the light made it easy.
Limit Blue Light and Electronics
As mentioned above almost every artificial light during the evening and night causes disturbance in melatonin production.
Although there is one specific part in that artificial light that tricks our brain into thinking it is still day, and that is the blue light.
Ideally for you to optimally wind down before bed, a change in a night routine is needed. Studies suggest at least one hour of no screen time before going to sleep. Unfortunately, not everybody has the opportunity or will to do so.
I am guilty of charge as I regularly enjoy scrolling through social media as downtime leisure. From time to time I even stay up late and work on different projects, trying to provide quality content for you readers.
What I do to increase my chances of falling asleep faster and having a better quality sleep is using Blue Light glasses. To be more specific those glasses repel and filter out blue light making it easier to wind down and increase melatonin production.
As during pandemic we may develop habits of spending more time on our electronic devices investing in blue light glasses can be beneficial.
I personally use Izipizi glasses as they are affordable, comfortable, fashionable, and accessible for me here in Sweden. There are other cheaper or more expensive options depending on your liking.
Decrease Anxiety, Increase Comfort
One of the major causes of sleep disturbance is anxiety. Endless thoughts and worries keep us awake at night.
How do we usually calm ourselves without any natural supplements or prescribed pills?
One of not only scientifically proven ways and yet quite enjoyable by many, especially me, is the human touch. To be more precise, a hug!
Yet it is hard to be constantly hugged and not everybody has people around themselves to hug or get hugged by. That is why one of the most convenient tools that in a way replicate similar feelings and actions in our body is a weighted blanket.
The pleasant and calming pressure that weighted blankets put on our body and mind is possible because serotonin gets released. Production and increase of serotonin levels create a calming effect on the nervous system.
Simple pressure that weighted blankets may even calm your heart rate and breathing. Even those with insomnia related to different disorders such as depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder experienced better sleeping quality.
One of the better weighted blankets out on the market is called Purple. From my experience I enjoy the right amount of extra pressure that it puts on me as it weighs 20 pounds, or 9 kg. It is reversible, washable and made in knit style.
Now, for some it may be a bit price but do not be discouraged. There are plenty of affordable weighted blankets out there such as Sherpa & Flannel.