We’ve been jolted into unnatural periods of alertness since the invention of electric light in the late 1800’s. Today, indoor lighting, televisions, smart phones, tablets and computer screens unrelentingly bombard the photoreceptors in our eyes, long after the night sky has gone black. This stimulation is pretty annoying to our natural circadian rhythm, as it funks with melatonin production. If you think your sweet satin eye-mask is gonna save you, think again. Even dim, ambient light manages to creepily haunt your dreams.
The bad news is that this doesn’t just leave you feeling tired. It leaves you at a higher risk of LOADS of conditions including cancers, type 2 diabeetus, and obesity. Adjusting our sleep habits to more closely follow the rhythm of the day/night cycle is as important as avoiding Cheetos and Mountain Dew.
7 things to help you sleep naturally:
1. Turn down the lights at sunset. (I use a dimmer in almost every room, so I can haz twilight.)
2. Use blackout curtains to keep your bedroom pitch dark, and turn off all lights, no matter how small and dim. (Yes, even the tiniest LED can negatively affect your sleep.)
3. Turn off the TV, computer monitor, and all mobile devices one hour before you go to bed.
4. Download this app for your computer: http://stereopsis.com/flux/
5. Dim or set your ipad or e-reader to nighttime mode before reading at night.
6. Wake at the same time every day. (I use 2 bright spotlights plugged into a timer, to simulate the rising sun. I’m not joking.)
7. Try Blue-Blockers!
Light bulbs and computers are obviously awesome, and I, for one, don’t want to revert to campfires and torches. However, amidst the difficult, primal conditions of the Stone Age, we can find precious ancient experience and virtuous principles. Some of these features must come back into fashion if we want to experience harmonious health and balance within our lives.