Interesting article on sleep: marksdailyapple.com
Inadequate sleep means excess secretion of cortisol, the stress hormone, and that leads to insulin resistance, belly fat accumulation, and systemic inflammation. If you’re working out hard every day on top of the poor sleep, your cortisol problem is compounded. Eating and exercising Primaly can mitigate a whole lot of problems, but it can’t solve them all. In the end, lack of sleep will always catch up to you. Maintaining a stable, Primal circadian rhythm allows a stable sleep schedule, which in turn promotes a strong immune system, steady energy levels, productive workouts, and a lower risk of degenerative diseases. It’s in everyone’s best interest to get adequate sleep whenever possible.
Why aren’t we sleeping enough? We want to sleep. Everyone enjoys a good night’s rest, so what is preventing us from achieving it on a regular basis? As I mentioned earlier, work and stress affect our sleep. For the most part, if we’re at the office, we’re awake. And if we’re stressing out over work related issues, we aren’t sleeping. But there’s got to be another reason. Our exposure to light is all mixed up. That much is obvious. We don’t get enough during the day, and we get too much at night. It’s probably a bit more complicated than that, but it basically boils down to misaligned light exposure. The problem with messed up exposure is that it resets the cycle. It throws your rhythm off. You get too little blue light during the day, and it affects the rest of your day; too much at night, and you restart your cycle. If your body thinks its night during the day, or day during the night, things will get a bit strange.
Luckily for us, blue light comes naturally and plentifully - on a clear day, just look up at the sky. Unfortunately, traditional office lighting is basic white in hue; if you find yourself dozing off during work hours, consider lobbying management to install blue-enriched white lighting. If they balk or refuse outright, point them toward a 2008 University of Surrey study in which office workers exposed to blue-enriched lighting were more productive, more alert, and less sleepy than office workers exposed to traditional white office lighting. Moreover, we’re often up too early and on the road or on the train, meaning we miss out on regular morning exposure to blue light. In one study, kids wore special glasses that filtered out morning blue light. After just five days of this, average sleep onset was delayed by thirty minutes - imagine the effect of entire years of poor morning exposure to blue light!
In my previous post, I mentioned a few strategies for avoiding excess blue light at night, when our bodies are supposed to be getting sleepy:
Limit electronics usage.
Cover up alarms and clocks that emit blue light.
Sleep in pitch black.
Wear orange safety glasses (like the kids in the study did).
To get blue light during the day:
Get outside, especially in the morning and afternoon.
Ask your boss about installing blue lights in the office.
If you can’t get natural blue light, install a cheap blue light bulb.
As to how much blue light to get (or avoid), I don’t think anyone knows for sure. It’s not an exact science. If you feel groggy, try exposing yourself to blue light - go outside for a walk or switch on the blue bulb lamp. Just use your intuition and make sure to get some blue light during the day and very little at night.