Getty Images Allen Donikowski
With the end of summer time and the celebration of the extra hour To sleep in a distant memory, many of us stay with the harsh reality: 1) We totally wake up in the white and really do not want to leave the bed t rise; 2) The days are getting much shorter and the fast jogging in the neighborhood we've enjoyed after work is now a shattering adventure with headlights. and 3) our daily sunbeam seems to be rather a stingy dose of gray gray tones. This condition of dim light can severely affect sleep and mood in winter. By knowing how light affects your body, you can manipulate the light in your environment and design a light plan to improve your calm, well-being, and overall health.
Why you feel drained
There is a central element in every brain Timekeeper called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN records information from your environment, such as light and temperature, and uses it to determine the timing of almost all our biological processes. Everything from digestion to hormone rhythms to athletic performance – everything is controlled by this little clock in our brain. And like a clock, our SCN has to be set up regularly. Unfortunately, looking at the time on your iPhone screen may not be enough. Instead, our SCN relies on a small set of biological inputs to make those adjustments, especially the light.
Light levels and quality are referred to as retinal ganglion cells (RGC) by special cells in our eyes. These cells measure the light (especially the blue / green wavelengths) in the environment. As the light decreases, these cells (via the SCN) of a small gland in our brain (the pineal gland) signal that they are secreting melatonin. Melatonin has a sleep-inducing effect on us and we tend to get drowsy when the sun goes down. By manipulating the light in our environment, we can dramatically change our sleep patterns. How shall we do it? 19659005] Mimic Sunset in the House
It is important that in the evening, when the sun goes down, the light that our eyes see goes down too. You can reduce the light you use to illuminate in a number of ways.
• Install Dimmer Switch . A quick detour to the hardware store will reveal a variety of these switches that can be turned off after dinner to give your home the dark feel of a Christopher Nolan Batman movie. If the light does not match your style, you can keep your rooms bright with several light bulbs available on the market, as the lighting does not contain cyan. A good one is the healthy Soraa pear ($ 18.95).
• Block the light of screens . In the evenings, dimming televisions and laptops (if this is not automatically the case) can be helpful. Free apps like f.lux can slowly turn off the blue and green light from your computer screens. Or invest in smoky Quan Swanwick Blocker goggles (Swanwick, 89.00 USD) so you can watch your next episode of Jack Ryan without letting the screen wake you up (though the lenses all lead to it) can make everyone look a little bit yellow).
Make Your Space Extremely Dark
• Cover everything that creates light or in . Blackout colors can be as helpful as a comfortable sleep mask. Make sure the lights on the electronics are hidden. (Ideally, your phone charges in another room.)
Wake up with light (even if you wake up before sunrise)
• Create an artificial sunrise. A slowly building light is a wonderful way to awaken. The Philips alarm clock with Sunrise simulation ($ 49.99, Philips) provides a slowly building full spectrum light. That means it has a lot of blue-green pop to awaken your brain.
• Illuminate your eyes. Try re-timer goggles ($ 199, Retimer) to be more Tron-like. These rechargeable glasses are equipped with blue-green LEDs that suppress the melatonin. Open it each time you wake up.
Keep it light
During the day you should look for natural light whenever possible. Work or eat outside if you can; Go outside instead of sitting in a dimly lit break room. If you try to remind your brain what time it is by light, it will be a big dividend if you try to sleep.
Light is an important factor in determining sleep quality. The dwindling light of winter does not have to be with you when making simple changes to your environment.
W. Chris Winter, M.D., is a sleep specialist with Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, Virginia, and author of The Sleep Solution: Why is your sleep broken and how to fix it.