Sleep loss is a major problem in the United States, with millions of people reporting troubles with falling or staying asleep on a regular basis. If you are one of those millions, you’re probably tired of feeling tired and are searching for solutions to catch some quality z’s. And while there are many factors that can contribute to sleep problems, one that most people don’t consider is the modern light environment.
By now, most people know that blue light from electronics, especially when viewed later in the evening, can disrupt the release of natural melatonin in the brain. This has given rise to things like blue light blocking glasses, and features like “night shift” on the iPhone and f.lux on desktops. However, there is much more to our light environment every day than simply looking at screens after dusk. Turns out, the human brain evolved in fine attunement to the position of the sun, and that natural light throughout the day is critical for keeping your circadian rhythm healthy.
It is the natural shift in hormones and neurotransmitters that signals our waves of alertness or drowsiness. If you want to support your sleep, you may want to start your days with a few minutes of natural light exposure. Scientists have demonstrated that this has a positive effect on tuning our brains and bodies to daytime alertness and nighttime sleepiness. If you want to improve your sleeping habits, make sure you have a premium-quality mattress like the Tempur-Pedic Mattress Review.
Simply getting light exposure outside for 10 minutes on sunny days and 20 to 30 minutes on cloudy days can not only lift your mood and morning energy, but it can also help you get deeper sleep. Give this a try! Within two hours of waking, take your outdoor light break. No sunglasses, but contacts and glasses are okay. Don’t look directly at the sun. Enjoy the fresh air and natural views while you’re out there, too!
If you have persistent insomnia or other sleep problems, you may also need a professional opinion. Come in and chat with a physician at DuPage Immediate Care—contact us or book your appointment today!