How To EASILY Achieve A Perfect Sleep Cycle (6 PILL-FREE, Unconventional Tricks)
Disclaimer: I used to be dependent on cocktails of natural supplements, Benedryl, Ambien and Xanax to fall asleep for years, no matter how tired I felt. Now, I sleep like a baby at normal hours.
Do you have problems with getting great, restful sleep?
Everyone knows it’s important to get good sleep, but the average night’s sleep amongst adults and teenagers is getting shorter and shorter. And now, 63% of Americans reporting that their sleep needs are not met during the week (1).
In fact, researchers believe that the average adult has FORGOTTEN what it feels like to be truly well rested!
However, those few people who obtain an adequate 7-9 hours a night are earning some great benefits! These include…
- maintaining more lean muscle
- burning more fat
- improved mood and sense of wellbeing
- more energy
- improved learning and memory function
So why is this epidemic happening?
It all has to do with MELATONIN, the hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycles.
And in a nutshell, our use of artificial light at night is driving this problem.
Your pineal gland produces this in the evening when it gets dark, and puts you in a relaxed, sleepy state.
However, in your home, you’re exposed to TVs, cell phone screens, laptops and general overhead lighting. The blue light waves in these sources of light signal to your body that it’s still daytime, thus suppressing melatonin secretion.
And as we’d expect, shutting down your melatonin production at night is NOT GOOD.
What’s worse is that the melatonin suppression on its own, regardless of your sleep hours, is associated with increased risks of…
- poor immune system function (getting sick more often)
- type 2 diabetes
- cardiovascular disease
Ouch! But don’t worry – there are EASY ways to combat all of this without turning off your phone, laptop, or TV after 7pm.
Here are 7 EASY ways to improve your quality of sleep that you’ve probably never thought about!
**Side effects may include sleeping like a baby**
1. Wear orange tinted glasses around the house after the sun goes down.
What?? Yes, wear ORANGE GLASSES when you’re at home in the evening. This REALLY works!
The easiest, cheapest and most effective solution to LIMITING your blue light exposure at night (without moving into a cave), is to wear these glasses.
It’s so simple – the orange lens filter out about 70-80% of the blue light that’s produced in your home.
This results in improved quality of sleep AND improved mood in the evening, as shown by this randomized research trial.
These orange glasses are EASILY the best $8 I’ve ever spent! I try to get everyone I care about to give them a shot, and whenever they do, they become as addicted as I am.
And if you need to wear eyeglasses at night, then these orange glasses will fit over them.
2. Get more direct sunlight during the day. The more the better, but 15 minutes is better 0 minutes!
Most of us spend just about all of our time indoors putting, which puts us in a state of “LIGHT DEFICIENCY.” That means our bodies are craving the sun!
That’s because light intensity matters.
In the afternoon, the bright sun provides 100,000 lux, which is equal to 500 to 1,000 light bulbs shining directly onto you all at once! And even on a dark cloudy day, you’re still getting the strength of 150-300 light bulbs that your body loves to take in!
So when you neglect yourself of the sun, your body perceives this “light deficiency”… which makes you much MORE sensitive to any light you’re exposed to at night.
And when you’re really sensitive to the light, you’re gonna suppress melatonin production and can feel restless!
Light intensity is measured in lux, and the bright sun provides 100,000 lux at noon, while indoor lights range from a mere 100-1,000 lux. Even on a dark and cloudy day, we can get almost 3,000 lux.
However, when you get 30-60 minutes of sunlight during the day, this helps “anchor” your circadian rhythm. By doing that, you’ll be more resistant to any artificial light you’re exposed to in the evening!
Now, if you…
- are going through a dark winter
- work indoors with little access to windows
- are finding it difficult to get any sunlight during the day
then I would recommend trying a light therapy lamp.
I absolutely love mine in the winter time!
3. Dim overhead lights and/or use lamps. And dim your electronic screens!
Making your home as dark as you reasonably can a few hours before bedtime is also very important. This will also really give your pineal gland the boost it needs to let out adequate levels of melatonin.
As a human, you simply weren’t meant to be exposed to so much indoor light after sunset. It confuses the hell out of your brain!
- 1 candela = the amount of light coming from a candle
- 25 watt light bulb = 135 candelas
So your body perceives one 25 watt light bulb as if 135 candles were shining on you at once! And you probably don’t have just ONE light bulb on in the evening…
So dimming your lights at night can really reduce the brightness, helping your body to realize it’s NOT daytime anymore.
Because like I said before, INTENSITY (or brightness) MATTERS.
And if you don’t have dimmers, using smaller lamps as an alternative to large overhead lights can also give you major improvements.
P.S – Cell phones and laptops are EXTRA concentrated sources of blue light, so those need to be dimmed down AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE in the evening!
Don’t skimp on that one!
4. Download f.lux for your computer.
Your computer screen produces a large amount of blue light AND it’s close to your face. Not many things will wreck your sleep cycle more than this!
So if you’re on a computer in the evening, this FREE download is an ABSOLUTE MUST.
This app simply filters out the blue light when the sun begins to set in your time zone. Basically, it’ll give your screen an orange tint, filtering out blue light while maintaining functionality.
It’ll help you feel more relaxed and sleepy when it’s time to go to bed.
AND IT’S FREE 🙂
5. Make sure your bedroom is blacked out. Really blacked out.
The gold standard here is that if you’re in your room and have your eyes open, you cannot see your own hand in front of your face.
First, this means you’ll probably need some blackout curtains or shades. (But that doesn’t mean they need to be black, don’t worry).
For shades, Symphony Shades offers a great product at a great price. They can come with side sealers too, that block out the light that comes in on the sides of most shades. Not only are they great for black out, but they’re Greenguard certified, meaning they’re non-toxic for your air!
Second, any blinking lights on electronics can be covered with electrical tape. (Or any other creative way you can come up with).
Once I got my room blacked out, it made a HUGE difference. I fell asleep much more easily, and then I could sleep in past the sunrise as well.
But if you can’t sleep in a pitch black room (during travel, for example), using an eye mask is a great option.
Actually, everyone should have an eye mask! And THIS one is the best I’ve found – and it’s only $13!
6. Don’t turn on bright lights for late night bathroom trips!
Have you ever gotten up to go to the bathroom, flipped the bathroom light on, and just felt like “WHOA!!! That’s bright!”?
By flipping on those bright bathroom lights, you’re bringing your melatonin production to a screeching halt, and telling your body “Hey! Look! The sun is rising; time to wake up!”
Instead, you can use the flashlight on your phone or even just the phone’s screen. Of course, please be careful not to trip on anything.
7. Install orange light bulbs.
This one takes a bit more initiative, but it can definitely be worth it. Using orange light bulbs at night might be the best way to stop the source of the blue light.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend installing orange lights in your entire house, because blue light during the day is important. However, you can select some lamps or overhead lights that you designate for evening use when you are ready to start winding down.
And there they are! Who knew there were so many things you do to help our sleep cycle?
Does it seem excessive?
It might to a lot of people, but look at it this way…
Every item on this list is geared towards reversing negative impacts that your modern day lifestyle is causing.
Your ancestors lived by natural sleep cycles, aligned with sunrise and sunset. And that’s one major reason they didn’t have the chronic, degenerative diseases that MILLIONS of Americans have today.
They didn’t ignore the earth’s day and night cycles, and neither should you!
Now, I’m not saying you have to go live in a cave to prevent cancer…
BUT implementing these strategies can give you the benefits of living in line with the earth’s rhythm, while continuing your normal life in today’s society.
And remember, adapting one habit at a time is excellent progress. So I hope this exhaustive list will help you to use these ideas sooner than later so that you can reap the benefits!
Here they are one more time, in a short list. (Copy and save it!)
- Wear orange tinted glasses around the house after the sun goes down.
- Get more direct sunlight during the day.
- Dim overhead lights and/or use lamps. And dim your electronic screens.
- Download f.lux for your computer.
- Make sure your bedroom is blacked out.
- Don’t turn on bright lights for late night bathroom trips.
- Install orange light bulbs
Please bookmark or print this page so you have it for reference, and also, please SHARE this post so that others can benefit!!
With your health in mind,
Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comment section. Have you heard of anything I may have missed? Have you had success with any of these ideas?