Lights Out: The Best Way to Fall Asleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Too much light, right before bedtime may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. In fact, one study recently found that exposure to unnatural light cycles may have real consequences for our health including increased risk for depression. Regulating exposure to light is an effective way to keep circadian rhythms in check.” There’s a reason our parents told us “lights out” when we were kids, and that rebellious nature could be taking a toll on us everyday.
Sleep directly impacts our mental and physical habits, so getting a good night’s sleep is paramount in leading a stress-free, healthy life. Those habits are formed from an early age, especially when it comes to sleep.
What Are The Best Ways To Call ‘Lights Out’?
According to the experts at the National Sleep Foundation, there are several things you can do to get a good night’s sleep with the lights out. You don’t have to be afraid of the dark:
1. During the day you should find time for sunlight. If you don’t have time to go outside, purchase a light-box or light visor to supplement your exposure to light.
2. At night you should keep your sleep environment dark. That means investing light- blocking curtains or drapes, even an eye mask can also help.
3. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, avoid as much light as possible by using a low illumination night light. Keep the bed at a sweet 37.5 degrees celsius to keep from waking up if it’s too hot or cold. NuSleep bedding can help you with that. Their technology driven sheets are just the thing to keep you from sweating.
4. For shift workers, who need sleep during the day wearing dark glasses to block out the sunlight on the way home from work is a great way to limit light before bedtime and get your circadian rhythm in sync with your work schedule. Some research indicates that the body may never fully adapt to shift work, especially for those who switch to a normal weekend sleep schedule. Establish a routine for sleep to avoid dozing with the television or lights on. Be sure to keep the same schedule on the weekends, and you should sleep better!
5. Before bedtime, limit television viewing and computer use, especially in the bedroom, as they hinder quality sleep.
6. Toss the night lights and go completely dark. Sleeping with lights on keep your body from naturally dozing off and may be the reason your sleep is interrupted and broken.
7. If you still find you are not sleeping well, talk to your doctor. Tell them everything you’ve done when it comes to lights out. You may have an underlying condition that calls for a physician’s advice or treatment.
No matter what you should be learning to work with your body. That way you form healthy sleep habits, no matter how you like to fall asleep.
- Romell Bhaala