Here in Edmonton in early summer the sun sets well after 10 PM with it staying light until nearly midnight. In the morning the sun rises very early meaning that your bedroom is probably flooded with light during times when you are trying to sleep. If not natural light then street lights or even a night light or light from another room may be the culprit.
Light on your skin can inhibit the release of melatonin, your body’s natural sleep inducing hormone. It can also lead to a hormonal response of cortizol that energizes you telling you it’s time to get up. The result may be that your ability to get the restorative sleep your body needs may be impeded.
So why is this important?
An overly light room is one key factor that can lead to sleep deprivation and inhibited restorative sleep. There are a number of detrimental impacts chronic sleep deprivation can have on your health and your life.
- diminished capability for your body to repair and heal itself
- negative impact on your ability to release weight
- hypertension – with serious sleep disorders
- greater risk of diabetes
- negative impact on immune function
- decreased productivity at work
- diminished ability to do your job safely or effectively
- diminished alertness leading to safety issues while driving
To enhance your ability to achieve restorative sleep, especially if you have sleep challenges, here is a very simple solution.
Make your room as dark as possible!
The payoffs to your health and your life are huge.
Do one of these.
- Install black out blinds. Regular ones will let significant light through.
- Install black out curtain liners. Place behind your regular curtains.
- Install roll down shudders. Installed on the outside of your window. These may not work if you have windows that open away from the house.
Other, more made at home possibilities include tin/aluminum foil taped inside the window, black cardboard cut to size and taped inside your window. With these ensure to tape over any openings with dark tape.
Note that a sleep mask will not have the same impact as any of the above solutions as your skin is still exposed to light.
Remember this is only ONE key step towards healthy, restorative sleep. Investigate additional steps you can take and stay tuned as I explore more of them in the weeks ahead.
“Life is meant to be embraced, enjoyed and fully lived, not merely endured!”
To your health,
Be an advocate of Thriving Health. Forward this to anyone you feel would appreciate receiving this message. Thanks for your support. I appreciate it.