WRITTEN BY ACADEMY'S HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST NATHALIE NIDDAM
Sleep - that most luxurious, wonderful, restorative thing that is actually free and yet, increasingly for so many people incredibly elusive. What is up with that?
There is no end of articles online, magazines, news reports, books - all about sleep…are you getting enough? Is it good quality? You better be, because chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to everything from obesity to cancer, low testosterone levels in men, premature aging and pretty much everything in between.
There are a multitude of reasons why people cannot get to or stay asleep. Excess stress, caffeine consumption too late in the day, too much sugar, unbalanced hormones, anxiety, magnesium deficiency…the list goes on but there is one thing that is quite easy to fix. If you’re willing to wear blue blocking glasses in the evening hours leading up to bedtime every night.
What? Yes, you heard me - all you got to do is your best imitation of a too cool for school celebrity while watching TV, looking at your computer or checking your latest Instagram post and you might just get at one of the biggest reasons why sleep disruption happens in the first place.
This is how it works: Your eyes are a direct conduit to your brain, your circadian clock is central to setting up when you need to be sleeping and when you should awake. The light hitting your eyes helps to set that circadian clock. In a perfect world, we get up with the sun and go to bed with the sun. This pretty much NEVER happens unless you’re maybe out in the wilderness camping (ever notice how your sleep is awesome on those trips?). Modern life has given us artificial light that keeps us and our brains tricked into thinking it is daylight so we can stay awake till WE decide it’s time to turn out the lights. And then we lie in bed, eyes wide open wondering why? Why? Why? What should be our rightful reward for a day well spent is completely out of our reach. Or. Perhaps you fall asleep fine but you wake up feeling that you got robbed. That somehow someone played with the alarm clock because although it says 7 am, it feels like you went to bed 10 minutes ago.
Enter the sleep hacks:
• Stop all caffeine at noon
• Take magnesium
• Try a hot epsom salts bath before bed
• Have a cold? Shower before bed
• Take melatonin (if this is an issue it will work, if not, well assuming you used good quality melatonin, move on)
• Keep your room super dark at night - you should have to feel your way to the bathroom
• Drink sleepy time tea
• Turn off all light emitting screens at least 90 minutes before bedtime. That means no TV, no phone, no kindle, no computer…you get the idea
The last one is the hardest to comply with. Who can resist checking their Instagram before bed? Or watching the latest episode of whatever Netflix show is your new addiction? And who the heck even buys books anymore??? Enter the solution: Blue Blockers. Until recently your only option were $8 safety glasses on Amazon (they still are so by all means if you live alone this could be your solution) or super expensive custom made glasses. Enter, the Swanwick brothers with stylish (black or tortoiseshell) frames that actually don’t look too bad. I found these at the Bulletproof Conference this year and I have to say that they have made a significant difference in my sleep - it’s amazing how much better you feel wearing them at night.
Yes, I am willing to wear the “geek” badge in the house (my son accused me of tin foil hat tendencies when I handed him his very own pair - sniff!) - oh, and their black silk sleep mask is easily the best and most comfortable I have ever worn - TMI? Perhaps - but hey, all is fair when hunting down your best night’s sleep. Swannie’s are on sale right now - you can get yours Here.
Full disclosure - this is an affiliate link - so feel free to just go to the site if you prefer but get your Blue Blockers on - you won’t be sorry!!