What Wearing Glasses Has to Do With Sleep

Sleep… it always seems to be getting shortchanged. We are always too busy, right? Who has time for sleep? Truth be told, you would be better off skipping dinner and getting to bed early than shorting yourself of vital zzz’s. In addition, many of us spend each minute up until we close our eyes on a device of some kind whether it be our phone, a tablet or a computer.

Light pollution is everywhere, and when we subject ourselves to it so close to bedtime we really mess with our sleep cycle. The good news is, there may be something that will help you fall asleep faster.

The sleep cycle is pretty easy to get. Light makes us feel awake, and darkness makes us feel sleepy. Exposing yourself to light right up until the time you go to sleep, with no transitionary time messes with the cycle. But, wearing amber-colored glasses may help. These glasses block the damaging blue light that our tech devices give off.

Sleep hormones and amber glasses

Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone that is released when it gets dark. This hormone helps to regulate other hormones and drives our internal clock, also known as our circadian rhythm. This internal clock is what determines when we fall asleep and when we wake up. Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant that protects our brain and ovaries. Some research indicates that when women interfere with their natural light and dark cycle, ovulation is altered or stops altogether. Women who work night shifts and are exposed to blue light during their natural sleep time have lower levels of melatonin and a greater risk of breast cancer. There is even some evidence that this could impact fertility.

How are amber glasses different from blue light filters?

While the blue light filer you have on your phone, tablet or computer gives you some protection, it does not block out all blue light from all sources such as overhead lights, etc., The best way to use amber glasses is to put them on as soon as it gets dark and take them off when you are ready to go to sleep. This will block all melatonin smashing light from impacting your sleep cycle. Although these are not the most stylish glasses around, they may just be your answer to catch those much-needed zzz’s.

More things to help you sleep better

In addition to getting some amber glasses, try these things to get a better night’s rest:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time daily
  • Spend at least 30 minutes outdoors daily – sunshine and fresh air help with the production of melatonin
  • Exercise regularly – no later than 3 hours before bedtime
  • Take a warm bath before bedtime – you can even add some Epsom salts for muscle relaxation
  • Sleep in a dark room – eliminate all sources of light
  • Sleep in a cool room – open a window or turn the air down at night
  • Make sure you are sleeping on a good mattress and using a quality pillow
  • Spray your pillow with lavender – lavender is a very relaxing aroma
  • Have sex – yep, sex right before bedtime releases “feel good” hormones that help us relax and fall asleep faster
  • Drink a cup of chamomile tea
  • Journal – writing down your thoughts before bedtime can help unload stress
  • Gentle stretching or yoga  – we hold tension in our body all day long – gentle stretches help to release that tension and allow your body to relax
  • Practice deep breathing – slowing down and focusing on your breathing, especially before bedtime can help you let down.

Are you ready for a great night’s sleep?

-Susan Patterson

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