Tag Melatonin

Seek Darkness to Sleep Deeper


20130107-161722.jpg

Bright Moon on a Dark Night

 

The pineal gland, a tiny structure located at the base of the brain, secretes melatonin, a powerful sleep-promoting agent. Based on our internal rhythm, this secretion starts in the evening approximately two hours prior to sleep onset and peaks two hours prior to wakefulness. This whole process leading to melatonin secretion is extremely sensitive to bright light. Light emanating from even a tiny phone screen can reduce this secretion and prevent you from falling asleep and getting enough deep sleep.

English: Pineal Gland and Pituitary Body Locat...

English: Pineal Gland and Pituitary Body Location inside the Brain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are a few tips to help you maximize your internal melatonin secretion.

1. Choose dark drapes or blinds for the bedroom windows. You can also apply black film over glass windows to block out light completely. A dim night-light to guide you safely to the restroom at night is acceptable as long as you are not facing it in your favorite sleeping position. Also, choose a night-light with the lowest brightness. Ideally, the bedroom should be so dark that you should not be able to see your outstretched hand!

2. Turn the alarm clock away and keep the brightness to a minimum. My personal preference is not to keep the clock in the bedroom at all.

3. Completely turn off all the electronic devices including stereo, satellite boxes, TV, laptop, iPad, and others. Again my preference, as we have discussed before, is not to have these devices in the bedroom at all. If you use them in the evening, please use them outside the bedroom and with lowest possible brightness to maximize melatonin secretion.

4. Sport those cool-looking designer sunglasses while driving home in the evening or during outdoor activities in the backyard. Your pineal gland will love you for that.

Sleep Well, Live Well.

5 Tips to Help Keep Your Bedroom Dark


English: By Ruth Lawson. Otago Polytechnic.

Image via Wikipedia

 

Pineal gland, a tiny structure located at the base of the brain secrets melatonin, a powerful sleep-promoting agent. Based on our internal rhythm, this secretion starts in the evening approximately two hours prior to sleep onset and peaks 2 hours prior to wakefulness. This whole process leading to melatonin secretion is extremely sensitive to bright light. Light emanating from even a tiny phone screen can reduce this secretion and prevent you from falling asleep and getting enough deep sleep. Here, are a few tips to help you maximize your internal melatonin secretion.

  1. Choose dark drapes or blinds for the bedroom windows. You can also apply black film over glass windows to block out light completely.
  2. Turn the alarm clock away and keep the brightness to a minimum. My personal preference is not to keep the clock in the bedroom at all.
  3. Completely turn off all the electronic devices including stereo, satellite boxes, TV, laptop, iPad, and others. Again my preference is not to have these devices in the bedroom at all. If you use them in the evening, please use them outside the bedroom and with lowest possible brightness to minimize melatonin suppression.
  4. If your spouse needs nightlight please use one with the lowest brightness. I also suggest you try dark and comfortable eyeshades. These eyeshades come in handy when trying to sleep in those not-so-dark hotel rooms.
  5. Sport those cool looking designer sunglasses while driving home in the evening or during outdoor activities in the backyard. Your Pineal gland would love you for that.

Remember that melatonin is an ally, while light is an enemy of deep sleep.

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