This will make you put your phone away before bed.
As many of us are realizing, getting high-quality sleep is an under-appreciated but mandatory key to improving your overall health.
The evidence for the benefits of adequate sleep is remarkable. For years researchers have been concluding that 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night can relieve stress, reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, improve memory and cognitive function, and even help with weight loss.
But knowledge isn't the same as practice. The CDC says millions of Americans suffer from disordered sleep and insomnia. Studies over the past five years report that at least 35% of Americans are getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
This means, during your morning commute either you, the driver in front of or behind you should turn around and go back home to bed.
The effects of sleep deprivation are no joke: sleep durations that are consistently shorter than 7 hours in a 24-hour period are associated with automobile and workplace accidents. Beyond that, they're associated with learning and memory problems, cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors, depression. Some say that lack of sleep will even undo the benefits of a clean diet and exercise routine.
An over use of cell phones, laptops, television, etc. is thought to be driving this level of sleep deprivation. If that's right, it’s not surprising why many Americans struggle with poor sleep, since 95% have reported using an electronics within the hour before at least a few night each week.
Do you 'quick' check your email or texts before bed? Catch a funny video on Facebook before you plug it in for the night?
It all seems harmless but could be causing your sleep disruption. These light emitting devices can potentially be harmful to your health.
Research has shown that nighttime light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin (which is the major hormone secreted by the pineal gland. We're talking about what controls your sleep and wake cycles).
A reduction in melatonin at night is associated with varying levels of sleeplessness. Short-wavelength or “blue” light is the most melatonin-suppressive; this is the type of light typically emitted by our devices. Are you reading this? That means products such as tablets, smartphones, and other devices with self-luminous electronic displays are major sources for suppressing melatonin at night, thereby reducing sleep duration and disrupting sleep.
So how do we solve this without recycling our iPhones?
Blocking this wavelength of light is enough to significantly reduce, or even eliminate the melatonin-suppressing effects of nighttime light exposure, according to a randomized trial using amber glasses.
You can use amber-lensed goggles once the sun has gone down to reduce the effects of blue light exposure, and in many cases completely eliminate the short-wavelength radiation necessary for melatonin suppression. Trials with these glasses have shown an improvement in the individual's sleep quality as well as mood, simply by blocking blue light.
Weird. But, cool, huh?
There are two excellent (and reasonably priced) options for amber-lensed goggles on Amazon.com. Maybe you saw us wearing these glasses in one of our breathing videos (we were using a computer at night but didn't want to sacrifice our sleep quality!) The brand we chose is Uvex. Get over the nerd factor and you will likely find they play a huge role in your sleep quality.