Years ago at the doctor’s office, my wonderful nurse practitioner, Vicki, asked me if I practiced good “sleep hygiene”.
I had already read some about sleep tips and hints, since we’re older now -- when a good night’s sleep is as valuable as gold… J !!
I read about the basics, like: limit caffeine, have a bedtime routine, try taking melatonin, sleep in a dark, cool room, use the bedroom only for sleeping, that sort of thing.
But she added one more: turn off your computer a few hours before bedtime.
That one surprised me. Not only is it hard for me to do that, but I assumed that the reason was mental overstimulation. (being too wound up and finding it difficult to un-wind)
Fast-forward a few years and I’m still on the computer at night (oops), reading a blog entry about someone trying to live by candlelight after sundown for 30 days.
It was a fascinating experiment for them, and they found themselves getting to sleep earlier and sleeping better. And it turns out that one of the critical issues was blue light.
I learned that candlelight is redder, as were the campfires of our forefathers. And guess what our modern lights and computers emit? Yup, blue light.
And it turns out -- did all y’all know this already? I didn’t -- that blue light inhibits the production of melatonin in our bodies. Melatonin -- the sleep hormone.
Well! I wasn’t quite ready to read books by candlelight…
So I kept surfing and reading, and found out that the easiest thing to try is a *free* app called F.lux.
Here’s the link: http://justgetflux.com/
It automatically changes the colors on your computer screen after sundown and takes a lot of the blues out for you.
I asked Mr. Man, if I don’t like it, can you un-install it?, and he said yes. So, I clicked on the button, got it installed, and went about my normal computer surfing.
And guess what? I really did get to sleep easier, slept better, and woke up earlier the next day. And even more so the next day. It was wild. And yes, it’s still working.
So, if you use your computer or iToy after sundown, and need a little help sleeping better, maybe it will help you, too!
I just pass these things along.
It’s what I do.