You’re having a rough time falling asleep; maybe it’s a new problem, maybe it’s a constant struggle. You may have already tried setting a sleep schedule and limiting your caffeine, but you’re still not drifting off as quickly as you should. You’re probably getting a bit tired of the comments that you look tired. You already know you need to get more sleep.
Your computer could be to blame. Seriously. The gadgets we use to stay connected can keep us awake. Our computers, cell phones, televisions, and even the lights in our home are the enemy of a healthy sleep cycle. These gadgets give off a blue light, and this light stimulates the brain to stay alert, just like sunlight. The blue light disrupts the production of melatonin, our natural sleep chemical.
While the full explanation can get complicated, the solution is pretty simple You need to decrease blue light to reset your natural sleep rhythm. Less blue light before bed could also improve the quality of your sleep.
- Avoid using your computer or cell phone for 30 minutes to an hour before you plan on calling it a day. If you don’t want to cut back on the gadgets, you could download a program or install an app that will gradually dim the screens towards the end of the day.
- Try getting more bright sunlight during the day and then turn down the lights in the evening. You could try dimmer switches on your overhead lights or use bulbs with a lower wattage. Some people find that a red bulb in a lamp gives off just enough light to see by and creates a pleasant atmosphere.
- Adding a few melatonin-rich foods to your evening meal could help. Walnuts, tomatoes, milk, rice and, barley are just a few of the foods that contain melatonin and may help you feel sleepy.
You can get better nights sleep without worrying about the effects of over the counter or prescription sleep medications. By increasing your time in the sun, and decreasing the use of electronics before bed, you will soon be drifting off quickly and feeling more rested.