Keep a healthy home
The most important aspect of health is sleep.
We can eat well and exercise regularly but if our sleep is off, our health will suffer and our exercise will do more harm than good. On this page you’ll learn why we need sleep, why insomnia and dysrhythmia in kids and adults are at all-time highs, and how we can improve our sleep and ameliorate these conditions.
Why we need sleep
Good sleep is critical for health and happiness. We need sleep to:
- Detoxify and repair our heart, brain, nerves, liver, kidneys, digestive organs, DNA, eyes, skin, muscles and more.
- Balance our hormones, hunger, mood and energy levels.
- Turn our day’s mental efforts into memories and skills!
What’s the main requirement for good sleep? Our eyes need to be exposed to a natural spectrum of light throughout the 24 hour daily cycle. Unfortunately, there is something that alters our natural light exposure and prevents our bodies from initiating restorative sleep:
Blue light from technology.
While nature delivers a full, balanced spectrum of light, our digital devices emit primarily blue light, in unnaturally high concentrations, which have been shown to seriously impact health. The more often and closer to bed time we’re exposed to it, the worse the effects, and we end up with a condition known is dysrhythmia, which is now extremely common.
What happens when you’re sleep deprived and suffering from dysrhythmia?
We think and feel below our best. This is especially true for our energy levels, digestion and mood. The longer we are dysrhythmic, the greater our risk of developing illness because dysrhythmia interferes with our brain's ability to regulate our entire body’s most important systems. What can we do to avoid this?
Improve your sleep
It’s the hypothalamus in our brain which regulates our entire body, initiates our sleep repair processes and keeps our circadian rhythms in check. Now, because the hypothalamus is directly connected to our eyes, when we look at unnaturally high concentrations of blue light from digital devices at night, we prevent our hypothalamus from working properly. The result is dysrhythmia (a dysregulated body) and poor sleep. There are three things we can start doing right away to avoid this.
The first two are the easiest; a pair of free apps that reduce the blue light emitted by your digital devices:
F.lux automatically adjusts your computer’s light to match the natural light outside.free download
Twilight automatically adjusts your phone’s light to match the natural light outside.free download
The third way we can improve our sleep and circadian rhythms is to live more naturally. This means avoiding intense visual and mental stimulus as we approach bed time. Adults often work until late and kids play on their devices and keep up with social media.
Unfortunately, our eyes, hypothalamus and brain evolved to function properly without such stimuli at night. If we want healthy circadian levels and deep restorative sleep, we should be winding down as we approach sleep.Go for a light walk in nature and get some fresh air, or enjoy the sunset with loved ones. Even doing chores that require minimal mental effort, such as cleaning the house, can be left for the evening. More mentally-demanding tasks should be done during the earlier parts of the day.
Sound sleep and proper circadian rhythms are the most important aspects to your health and living naturally is essential for both.