Sleep and Life
So, sleep is important. Think, if you wake up tired in the morning, you live that day in a slightly less alert / happy mood. I'm not saying you HAVE to be chipper or what not, but I'm sure nobody wants to be slow and tired feeling.
If you sleep well, you wake up in a better mood, and you start the day off a lot better and can think a lot more clearly. I'd say we want to have most of our time waking up in a good mood, and not a tired one...
Yep, and here are some secrets toward achieving that (starting off with light, since that's the focus of this forum):
- Be exposed to daylight as much as you can during the day, especially MORNING daylight.
- Exercise during the day, but not too late in the evening (and don't forget that mental exercise is good too).
- Don't eat unhealthy foods or drink unhealthy beverages
- Wait a minimum of 3 hours after dinner before going to sleep. You want your body to be pretty much done digesting your food before you go to sleep. You almost want to feel a bit hungry when you're laying down to go to sleep, but now I'm jumping ahead. So, the greasier and fattier and unhealthier the food is, the longer it will take to digest. I had to wait up to 6 hours one time because what I ate digested just that slowly due to being so greasy and fatty. I can wait though because I don't really have anything else going on that demands me to be on a schedule. What I'm saying though is, if you must eat fried food or a bunch of pizza or fast food or just something greasy and fatty, then EAT EARLY. Give your body several hours to digest it and you will sleep better.
- When you finish your dinner, begin simulating a sunset. I would say that you should begin doing this before dinner, especially since you want to be relaxed during dinner. Right? So, start using warmer and warmer and warmer light. You don't want your lighting to get in the way of your attempt to unwind and relax so that you can fall asleep easily later on.
- After dinner, I would recommend using less light than what you were using for dinner, and try to use warmer-colored light than what you were using during dinner too. So, lower levels of light, and warmer colors. Look for reds, oranges and some yellows. That's what you're going for.
- During the time between dinner and bedtime, try your hardest to avoid snacks or beverages because you don't want to force your body to digest food while it's sleeping. If you must have something, then keep it to just a very very very light snack with maybe 8 ounces or less of the beverage - if you have to have something to drink, that is. I can last the entire 4-5 hours that I wait between dinner and bedtime without eating or drinking ANYthing. If I can do it, then you can too. So, why 8 ounces or less? The average capacity of the human bladder is about 8 ounces. Overfill it, and you will have to go to the bathroom.
- In addition to using warmer and warmer colors of light (and less light), try to avoid loud sound too. Sound can be just as alerting as bright blue light. So, your entire environment should encourage total relaxation at this time of your day.
- If you prefer to brush your teeth and/or shower after dinner and before bed, then do it as early as you possibly can.
- Sleep in perfect, total darkness. If you have to block indicator LEDs on various things, then do so. Use electrical tape, or just whatever you can come up with. You want to have it be so dark in there that you can't tell the difference between having your eyes open and closed once they've fully adjusted (like, after you've been sleeping for a while).
- Try to sleep in either perfect silence, or use a good white noise sound machine (like the classic Dohm).
- Try to eliminate all distractions right before you go to bed. So, turn your phone off, turn off your landline phone's ringer, etc.
- If you have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, then try to avoid using any light. you probably know your home well enough that you can navigate it with your eyes closed. Or, prepare ahead of time and set yourself up with a dim red night light that you can use. It must be red. No blue light should be allowed in the middle of the night! So, I wouldn't even use an orange light.
- When you get out of bed in the morning, expose yourself to as much daylight as possible and keep that going all day if you can.
- Exercise during the day, eat healthy, and you know the rest.
This might seem like a lot to think about and remember, but I wrote all of this off the top of my head. Think about that. All of this is really just one thing.