Hello everyone, it’s good to have you.
Let’s talk about your health, sleep, mood, your night time TV, iPad and smart phone habits.
Did you ever notice how the midday light is so bright and White? We feel alive and energetic!
In the evening as the sun goes down the light from the sun starts to turn Yellow, Orange and Red.
It seems that nature knows our needs. White light at midday has a lot of Blue light within it. Hence, a bright Blue sky really feels right within our body during the waking hours. More Blue light equals higher frequency and higher energy light just when we need it.
But, as evening comes and we are winding down, Mother Nature gives us Orange and Red so we will be prepared for sleep with this lower energy light. Then, as it is time for bed, complete darkness envelops us…. aaahhhh …… time for some good sleep.
This all sounds quite Fairy Tale like doesn’t it. Well, it just so happens that this is all on purpose and is for our own good. Go figure that we are in tuned with the Earth, our Earth.
Lack of Blue light, in fact lack of all light at bedtime allows our body to turn down, to rest and repair.
This is when the feel good and relaxing Serotonin hormone that is produced primarily in our digestive tract is changed into Melatonin within our brains. Melatonin is produced within our Pineal gland which is very sensitive to incoming light to our eyes. Interestingly, even if our eyes are closed.
(Note: Can you now see how poor diet habits or poor food choices can affect our brains and our mood?) Think about it. Less Serotonin = Less Melatonin.
Melatonin has several needed health effects:
Immune system enhancer – Repair
Sleep cycle regulator – our internal clock time for – Repair
Anti-Cancer effects – Repair
Allows a deeper sleep for REM sleep – Repair
Since modern times with the invention of electricity and artificial light, we have been able to willfully override these natural cycles. Both for good and for bad.
We have effectively messed up our Melatonin cycle. Does lack of proper sleep lead to a higher incidence of weight gain and even Cancer? Yes, it does.
Artificial light contains a lot of Blue light, particularly (Fluorescent, LED lights and especially computer screens along with our handheld devices.) I think that’s why the now discouraged incandescent light bulbs fell so soothing. They produce much lower levels of Blue light (lower frequency).
Candle light, which is even more of a soothing light, is high in Yellow to Red light and low in Blue.
You guessed it, our cell phones, iPads and laptops produce an extraordinary large amount of Blue light.
So, here we are in modern times waking up our brains just before bedtime with Blue light and totally ruining our sleep and repair cycle. This is a bigger deal than most of us think.
For you last minute phone users, iPad and TV movie watchers just before you turn in, stop it.
If you have a handheld device check to see if there is a ‘Night Shift Mode’ that you can activate. This will make sure that your device reduces the Blue spectrum of light after sunset and before dawn. Check with a 12 year old, they can usually help you with this.
If you must look at a computer or phone screen for many hours a day, make sure you are getting plenty of Carotenoids in your diet or by supplementation. This means dark green, orange, red and purple fruits and veggies. These will protect your eyes (macula) from the high frequency Blue light damage, but will not help you with the sleep cycle disruption.
By allowing your body to cycle properly with sleep and awake cycles that align with the sun, you will experience a boost in health and well being, physical as well as mental.
This is why sleep deprivation is the most effective form of torture! Make sure you are not torturing yourself.
Going to bed should be like a sacred event, because it is that important to good health and mood. Reduce the amount of light you are exposed to while trying to sleep. You can buy low Blue light ‘night lights’, if you need a low level of light or better yet, eliminate all light.
Good night, that’s all for now.
Cheers and good health, Dr. Bill