I love screens, I love my phone, and I like playing computer games at night, and enjoy curling up in bed reading from my ipad. The problem is as I journey down the yogic path and tune more into cause and effect, I notice when I don’t use screens at night I sleep a whole lot better…
Exposure to light at night interferes with your circadian rhythm and suppresses melatonin secretion. Melatonin is made in the pineal gland (connected to our third eye) and is the hormone that controls our sleep and wake cycles. Any artificial light at night can interfere with your circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion but the worst offender is blue light.
Harvard researches have now shown that blue light suppresses melatonin for twice as long as green light, red light suppresses it the least. Unfortunately blue light is the light emitted by backlit portable screens, as well as energy efficient lighting. How annoying!
The research also states, ‘Light at night is part of the reason so many people don’t get enough sleep…researchers have linked short sleep to increased risk for depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.’
I’m currently studying natural rhythms and how we evolve body habits so I’m really interested in this research. Adjusting your rhythms to adapt to the rhythms of nature is one of the best ways to increase your energy levels. Check out my post on amplifying your energy here.
What can you do?
I don’t fancy wearing those Bono style blue light-blocking glasses and I’m not going to stop using technology.
The most practical advice I can follow is to switch off screens one hour or even two hours if you can manage before going to bed. Light a candle and enjoy the atmosphere! Exposing yourself to plenty of natural light during the day will also help you sleep at night.
Sending love and a little light
Harvard Health Report ‘Blue light has a dark side’
Sleep Health Foundation – http://sleephealthfoundation.org.au – melatonin