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Optimize your Circadian Rhythm and Conquer Daylight Savings Blues

Adam Wenguer

Morning Runner Circadian Rhythm

Your Circadian Rhythm is the 24 cycle of alertness and sleepiness that we experience each day. This is most influenced by daylight and darkness which directly affects our hormones for wakefulness and sleep. (Including mental, physical and behavioral changes).

This why having a well regulated circadian rhythm is so crucial to sleep quality which affects every aspect of our health.

Other factors like food, exercise, environment, and stress levels play a part in our circadian rhythm function but natural light has by far the greatest impact. The sun rises and it's rays/light frequency enter our eyes and through our skin, signaling to our brain to release energizing daytime hormones. As the sun begins to set and the skies become dark, our brain is then signaled to release melatonin, the powerful hormone that makes us start the sleep time process.

So why do so many people have issues with sleep?

When we understand the importance of our circadian rhythm impacted by light/dark cycles, we begin to realize how artificial light and especially screens can clearly disrupt this crucial cycle. Screens from phones, tablets, computers and TVs emit high levels of blue light which is only a small percentage of the light spectrum found in natural light. When our eyes are exposed to this frequency of light in the late afternoon and evenings, research demonstrates a stark reduction in our natural production of melatonin which causes a clear disruption in our circadian rhythm. Even more troublesome is that regular artificial lighting in our homes, especially from LED bulbs can emit the same amount of blue light as a screen.

So how can we protect ourselves from the dangers of exceeds blue light exposure?

1) The first step is the easiest and that involves wearing a pair of Blue Light blocking glasses in the evening. A quality lens can effectively block up to 99% of blue light. We offer adult sized Blue Light Blocking glasses by themselves or as part of our Sleep Bundle. We also have a daytime clear lens version which can block up to 40% and is recommended more to reduce eye strain from harsh blue light indoors. Blocking blue light allows our body to get relaxed and effectively settle into sleep mode.

2) The next step to mitigating excess Blue light exposure is to replace your indoor bulbs with specialized anti-blue light amber bulbs. I love this option because it sets a more calming mood and feels like natural light at sunset. Our ancestors used candles/oil lamps to be able to see inside their homes in the evening, well this would be the modern equivalent. They are widely available online.

3) Most phones, computers and TVs have a night mode, a dim mode and potentially a anti-blue light option. They can be set on a schedule or used all the time. I have mine set to go on around 6pm and then back to regular screen color modes at 8am.

4) Stop using electronics altogether at least 2 hours before hitting the sack. This will be the most challenging for a majority of people since as a society we are plugged into our phones 24/7. But imagine how much faster you would relax by reading a book under the calming amber light (from an anti-blue light bulb) instead of staring into a bright TV or phone screen. Include some of our CBD oil or one of our CBD gummies if you really want that comfort before bed and deeper sleep quality.

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