Food Is Not Your Enemy

A Simple Cure for Insomnia
May 21, 2012, 10:55 am
Filed under: Healthy Lifestyle | Tags: , ,

Are you sitting in an office all day, barely getting outside during daylight hours to see the sun? And then once you get home, are you parked in front of your TV or computer most of the evening so that you can “unwind”? If so, then you likely have some answers as to why you’re not sleeping well.

It all comes down to blue light, part of the spectrum of light emitted by the sun. Blue light suppresses the release of melatonin, the hormone that causes us to feel sleepy. If you’re not spending enough time outside in the sun each day, you’re not experiencing a change in your melatonin levels, and your sleep cycle can suffer as a result. Essentially, your body doesn’t know when to rest and when to stay awake, according to Line Kessel, an opthalmologist at the University of Copenhagen, as cited in Psychology Today.

So the sun’s blue light helps keep us energized during the day. The problem when we go home and watch TV or catch up on emails is that our screens emit blue light as well. And this ill-timed exposure to blue light–just as we want to start feeling tired–can stimulate us and lead to trouble sleeping.

The takeaways: Get outside during the day, and consider reading before bed rather than vegging out in front of blue-light emitting electronic devices. This may be all you need to do to ensure a better night’s sleep and greater energy the following day.


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