How To Regulate Your Exposure To Light

Regulate Your Exposure To Light

Melatonin is the hormone responsible for controlling our sleep-wake cycles. The hormone is produced in large quantities when it’s dark, with prolonged exposure to light (both artificial and natural) causing a decline in the same. This is one reason your alertness levels improve after waking up in the morning and decline as the night approaches.  Our modern way of life, especially computer screens and smartphones, can interfere with the body’s natural ability to produce melatonin.  Regulating your exposure to light can help trigger increased/reduced production of melatonin, hence promoting sleep. Here are a few tips how.

 

  1. During The Day

 

  1. Get as much exposure to the morning sunshine as possible. Make a habit of waking up early to enjoy the warm sunshine, or even better, have your breakfast outdoors. Allowing the light to shine on your face will help improve your wakefulness.

 

  1. Spend a little more time outdoors. Make a habit of exercising outdoors and, if possible, take a walk during your tea breaks. Switch to walking your dog during the daytime instead of night hours.

 

  1. Allow natural light in the workspace or house. Open up blinds and curtains to allow as much natural light as possible in the house or workplace. Moving your desk closer to the window will enable you to make maximum use of natural daylight.

 

  1. Use a light therapy box: Consider using this box, especially in winter when/if the sun doesn’t come up.

 

  1. At Night

 

  1. Limit your on-screen time. Tablets, smartphones, computer screens, and televisions emit blue light, which can be disruptive. Avoid using such devices 1 – 2 hours to bedtime. Consider lowering brightness levels as low as possible, or use smaller screens if you have to.

 

  1. Avoid late-night TV. Aside from the Tv emitting blue-light, most TV programs are naturally stimulating. Avoid watching the TV at night and switch to more relaxing audiobooks or music instead.

 

  1. Avoid backlit devices: Backlit devices, such as tablets and e-readers, produce disruptive light hence not recommended during the night.

 

  1. Ensure the room is dark enough: Making the room dark allows the body to produce melatonin naturally, hence inducing sleep. Invest in heavy blackout curtains and shades for your windows and a sleep mask if possible.

 

  1. Make sure the mattress is supportive: Your mattress choice will depend on your sleeping position, read these Mattress Firm reviews. It should ensure that your body is supported in the right areas and promote correct spinal alignment.

 

  1. Turn all the lights down in the bedroom: You don’t want to wake up under the blaring bright lights. Have a small flashlight to use at night, or install a dim nightlight to enable you to navigate at night.