Hello, and Welcome Back!
Well, I hope you’ve been reading or at least watching some of the TEDtalk videos on sleep and your circadian rhythm.
If you have, I am quite sure you are wondering why no one told you about how simple it could be for you to take control of your health, your livingness potential, and your future, AND to do so without tons of vitamins, superfoods and all the other stuff that the “experts” have been trying to sell you your whole life… including the dream of a super drug that will make every one of your dreams come true!
By working to align one’s circadian rhythm he can dramatically reduce the risk of 100’s life-altering and life-ending diseases and disorders including cancer, diabetes, disease, and all the terrible side effects of the many drugs available to partially treat what your own circadian rhythm can prevent and possibly correct!
Now, there’s a sales pitch!!!!! Good thing it’s true.
Alright, so let’s look at how light affects a person’s circadian rhythm.
First of all let’s make a distinction between natural sun/daylight, and artificial light from light bulbs, and screens.
As sun/daylight are naturally occurring and are as old as the planet itself and day becoming night and night becoming day… our circadian rhythms were most likely evolved along this line, and it was.
Sun comes up, it is time to wake up and get started with our day. As the sun sets and night, that is the time to settle down and prepare for sleep- including actually going to sleep!
These clocks are built into our bodies.
An Early Circadian Experiment.
Many years ago a study was done where 2 scientists moved into a cave for 40 days or so, having only contact with the outside world through a phone or walkie-talkie system.
With no way of knowing if it was day or night, the scientists would phone out and tell the people manning the phones when they went to sleep and when they woke.
Amazingly, it was the same time each day and aligned with daybreak and sunset in the outside world. So the mechanism is built into the body.
Blue light from the sun, especially in the morning tells the master clock as it were in our brain that it is time to wake up, and all of the morning hormones do their thing, while the night hormones shut off.
Sunlight enters through the eyes and follows a special tract from the eyes to the master clock in the brain, and starts the brain’s circadian rhythm, much like our first bite in the morning starts the body’s circadian clocks.
This first sun in the morning is very important as it actually wakes us up, makes us feel alive (and does so without coffee!), and starts the process along with physical activity to prepare us for sleep when the sunsets.
Blue/Green Light Spectra.
Blue light is a double-edged sword… because most light bulbs and screens emit a blue spectrum of light which oddly enough is not enough to wake us up in the morning, but it is enough to make falling asleep at night difficult.
Think about our Paleo ancestors. What did they use for light?
Fire and fire have reds and oranges and yellow light spectra, not blue and green like the sun.
LED bulbs to be efficient and not emanate heat have removed the red and infrared light spectra and so these lights emanating blue/green light can tell us that it is morning and time to wake up… at bedtime!
So no screens for about a half-hour to an hour before bed, and it would be best to keep your home or workspace as dimly light as is safe after the sunsets.
If you do need to read, use a desk lamp or a task lamp that shines only on what you need to see… not your eyes, or bathing in unnatural light.
What to do if You Need to Work at Night.
Now there are all kinds of gadgets that can help reduce the blue light including blue light blocker glasses that can be worn in the evening, and many computers, cell phones, and screens have a means by which the light emanation can be made more of a pinky-orange color… I think. I’ve been told I am color blind!
Night lights for the bathroom and hall passages can be swapped out for a reddish bulb, and in time there will be dimmers and special LED bulbs that emanate less blue light with the setting sun.
So let’s see…, get as much morning sunlight exposure… even if it is overcast, as you can each day when you wake to really set the brain’s circadian clock and actually wake up in the new day, and as the sun sets, reduce exposure to artificial lighting as much as possible.
In fact, I am typing this blog in a totally dark room, with a “pinky-orange” screen emanation.
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Just a joke, I was saying, I must be a pretty good typist!
As usual, there is SOOOOOOOOO much more to learn about natural light and limiting unnatural light, sleep, and your circadian rhythm.
As usual, I will again invite you to do your own study. I like Walker and Panda’s material, but there are others.
I think at some point I will review a number of YouTube videos and put them in some order that is easy to understand and give you guys the roster.
Okay, next blog…Activity!!! Got questions, comment below or reach out to me!
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