Light and Sleep

Did you know that light affects how well you sleep?

That’s right, contrary to popular belief, us humans are part of nature and as such we react to it in ways similar to other animals.  Have you noticed how birds go to sleep as soon as it starts getting dark and then wake up at the break of dawn? Have you ever seen a bird in need of a power nap?

So back to lights and the quality of your sleep… did you know that the production of melatonin by the Pineal Gland is directly influenced by the amount of light we are exposed to? Yep! Our eyelids have receptor cells that ” tell”  the body to start or shut down the production of melatonin depending on how much light you are exposed to.

The problem these days is that we are constantly exposed to light. Think of computers, mobile phones, the television, the ipad or any form of blue light. If years ago we went to sleep as it got darker, today we stay up watching the latest news, we text friends, watch one more episode of Grey’s anatomy (or other TV show of your preference) or post one more Tweet; lights are constantly on.

If your melatonin production is dependent a.o on the amount of light we are exposed to, no wonder so many of us find ourselves lying in bed staring at the ceiling. Think about it, when would your body get the signal that it is about time to go to bed?

No melatonin = no sleep.

By all means, I am not suggesting you should go to bed with the birds. That’s utopia and not very realistic in this day and age. However, if you find that you are having trouble sleeping, why not turn off your computer, tv or mobile phone a bit earlier?

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