Blue light causing your sleeping blues?

After a long, busy, and exhausting day, most of us prefer to unwind by sprawling out on the couch watching TV or wasting time on the Internet. But once the time comes to turn in, many people struggle to fall asleep. Studies show that blue light is to blame.

The blue end of the light spectrum – emitted by ordinary light bulbs, televisions, and computer screens – suppresses melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle. In fact, in a recent article by Real Simple, Rubin Naiman, Ph.D., director of sleep programs at the Miraval Resort, in Tucson, compared blue light to another sleep-stealing stimulant: “Being exposed to too much light at night is the environmental equivalent of caffeine.”

In order to avoid blue light overload, you’ll need to make just a few adjustments to your behavior. Here are a few ideas for you…

  1. Try dimming the lights a couple of hours before bed. This will work as a cue for your brain that sleep is just around the corner.
  2. Establish a cutoff time for checking email. And stick to it!
  3. Think about purchasing blue light filters for your TV or computer screens. These can be bought through various retailers and websites, including lowbluelights.com.
  4. Opt for reading yourself to sleep, rather than conking out in front of the TV. While ordinary light bulbs do have emit blue light, they’re still more calming than a flashing television screen.

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