Why are so many people having difficulties sleeping soundly? It’s because there’s not enough contrast between their “day” and “night.”
In pursuit of better sleep for myself, I have increased the amount of light during the day and made it darker for the night. This has helped me to sleep better; it can work for you too.
Several years back, a good friend of mine, Chase Thompson, pointed me to a Smart People Podcast episode on this very subject. The show’s point was scientifically sound. A couple of hundred years ago, the typical person would spend most of their time in the sun and, during the night, would be exposed to candlelight.
There was a big contrast between their waking and sleeping hours.
These days, most people spend their time in a poorly lit environment, sitting in front of screens with a blue light. It’s been proven that blue light is not conducive to a good night’s rest. On top of that, most people don’t sleep in a pitch-black room.
The Solution: Add More Light, Add More Dark
Get Outside – As much as you can, you need to expose yourself to sunlight. The earlier in the day you can do this, the better. Make every effort to get outside, even if it’s just for 10 to 15 minutes. Every minute counts! Consider having a picnic outside or do some running/walking around your neighborhood.
Ensure A Totally Dark Bedroom – I have tried numerous products, but my favorite is the BlackoutEZ Window Covers. The first night I slept with them installed, I slept so much better. I recommend you invest in Light Blocking LED covers to reduce the limit that illuminates from bedroom electronics (clock, TV, cell phone, etc.).
Get Better Light During The Day – Change your bulbs to full spectrum bulbs – both at home and work. I have a couple of these lamps above my desk at work.
Use SAD Lights – These come in many different forms, but the most elegant solution is the SAD Bright Light Therapy Glasses. (use the code “CRAIGHUGGART” for a 30% discount). I love these and use them more during the winter months. It is so convenient to just turn them on, put them over my glasses, and do whatever I want. After 20 minutes they automatically turn off. It could not be easier!
Block Blue Light During Evening Hours – Blue light, like your computer screen, needs to be avoided after the sun goes down. You can purchase some blue blocking glasses to help you to do this, Or, if you’d rather not be laughed at by your family, you can turn on the night mode light on each device:
Use A Sleep Mask – I’ve tried many different ones, but my favorite is the Bucky 40 Blinks. You’ll probably need to try different ones before finding one you like. Trust me; the effort is worth it.
Install Sleep-Friendly Night Lights – When your room is completely dark, you’ll want these night lights. Consider the Mr Beams® Stick Anywhere Amber Night Lights.
Use A Sunrise Alarm – I have tried several but went with the Philips Wake-Up Light. One button kicks the off the “sunset, ” and the “sunrise” starts 20 minutes before my actual wake-up time. This is a gentle way to begin and end your day.
Question: Are you tired of not getting the sleep your body needs to face the day? If so, which one of the above methods or products are you planning to employ for yourself? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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