So many of us, without realizing it, may settle in at night with laptop ready or phone in hand. Trying to decompress from a busy and hectic day with news, games or the latest Twitter buzz. The problem with this is that after all the chaos of the day and our bodies natural sleep/wake cycles fighting for either reading that last article or hitting the pillow, inefficient and interrupted sleep occurs.
To maintain our 24-hour sleep schedule, our bodies transfer information about time of day into melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone telling us when it’s time to sleep which increases in the evening and peaks in the middle of the night. The process of melatonin release begins in the retina. During the day, the light emitted from the sun and other light emissions, such as the blue light from phones, computers and televisions blocks the signals in the brain that tell us to produce melatonin. At night however, the darkness allows the signals in the brain to form to tell us it is time to increase melatonin production and get ready for bed.
This is where the blue light takeover begins. So instead of our brains doing what they are naturally meant to do and increase melatonin production, all of the artificial light from computers and phones messes with our natural production of melatonin and signals us that it isn’t time for sleep, hence making it that much harder to fall asleep at night, sleep well and wake up feeling renewed.
Tonight instead of surfing the web or binge watching Netflix in bed, turn off all your devices at least an hour before you are going to sleep, keep the room dark and focusing on your breath and relaxation when you hit the pillow. Sleep is restorative and just as important as exercise in taking care of our bodies.