Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness

quality sleep


How blue light impacts sleep


Have you been having difficulties to fall asleep? Are you having sleep problems or a bad night sleep?

We spend too much time in front of a computer, laptops, tablet, cell phone or any other screen but we don´t think about the negative impact that this have in the quality and quantity of sleep. It´s not only the fact that we´re exposed to electric light from the moment we wake up to the moment we want to fall asleep, the type of light we´re exposed and the times of the day have a negative impact on sleep.

The light that the screens of electric devices like computers, laptops, cellphones, etc; and electric bulbs release is blue light.

Even when artificial light has a huge positive impact on our lives by helping us get more things done, it also has so many negative impacts for our health and our life. Some years ago the only source of lightning was the sun and people worked and schedule their day according to the light of the sun, they worked more in coherence and harmony with nature and the environment until we had access of artificial light and when this happened we were able to illuminate our evenings and nights which causes a lot of health problems.

We saw in the last post how the circadian rhythm works and the access to light at night before bed blocks melatonin and hormones and functions in our body get out of sync.

Blue light in particular has been associated to a negative impact on our sleep and health in general. Blue light exposure suppresses the secretion of melatonin which is hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that influences the circadian rhythm.

If you are one of those people who like to check their e-mail or social media right before going to bed or worse, when you are already in bed just before falling asleep and you find it hard to fall asleep the blue light from the screen is the one that impairs your ability to fall asleep.

Since blue light impacts the quality and quantity of sleep this leads to greater health problems, lack or poor-quality sleep makes it harder to lose weight and maintain optimal weight and health and it´s linked to more complicated health problems

Light sends the signal to our brain and body that we need to be woken up through the eyes so when we want to fall asleep we need to send the right signal to our brain through our eyes and this means avoiding all light 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed especially blue light.

In the last years amber glasses have increased popularity (we´re going to talk about them in the next post) because they are one tool to block blue light but there are more strategies and tools we can use to reduce the exposure to light and this includes having a sleep schedule which is for most of us the best option because we can designed one that works for us and our day.

The best thing we can do is try to emulate nature, emulate our environment which means that we need to reduce light as the sun goes down and increase it as the sun raise but this can be hard for most of us since we need to get to school, our job and get so much stuff done during the day so the best option is to reduce light exposure for a period of time before going to bed.

 We know that high quality sleep is key if we want to lose weight and maintain an amazing physique so we need to make sure that we get the best quality sleep as possible because most of us do not get the 7 to 8 hours, to improve sleep and make sure it´s high quality it all starts by being able to fall asleep fast which can be achieved by having a sleep schedule and this schedule needs to consider avoiding all blue light, especially screen devices for at least 60 minutes before going to bed, red light is a good option too but we´re going to talk about it in future posts.

Follow these next steps today to improve the quality of sleep:

1.- Turn off all electric devices especially the ones with screens like Tv, computer, tablets, cell phones (if you need to keep your phone on in case of emergency make sure that you don´t check it) 60 minutes before going to bed,

2.- Take the first 30 minutes to practice visualization and gratitude exercises,

3.- Take the next 30 minutes to practice breathing exercises to fall asleep faster.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you did the exercise and what was your result or experience.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.



Sleep and hormones

29 Sleep and iflammation

Knowing how things work and the impacts they have in our body help us live a better life and achieve our goals in a simple way.

Nowadays sleep is one of our least priorities, if we want to lose weight we focus on diet and exercise and even when we know sleep is important we don´t give it the attention it deserves. Just one night of poor sleep will have negative consequences on your day and if this become chronic it can cause negative health problems.

Here we´ll talk about 5 hormones that are affected with just one night of poor sleep, this hormones are: cortisol, growth hormone, insulin, leptin and ghrelin.

Cortisol is the stress hormone, every time we are under stress our body releases cortisol to deal with that situation, our body needs more energy so it shuts down non essential functions for that period of time and glucose increases because it´s the preferred form of energy. Lack of sleep puts stress to our body so if we didn´t get enough good sleep cortisol will be high.

Growth hormone is the one that keeps us lean, it helps our cells use stored fat for energy and also repair and build muscle. Our body produce this hormone during sleep we need to get through all the phases of sleep for this hormone to get high. Lack of sleep keeps this hormone low making it easier for our body to store fat and even lose muscle tissue.

Insulin is known as the fat storage hormone, it takes insulin to the cells so it can be use as energy and it is triggered by carbohydrates, the higher insulin is the more fat we store and it´s also dangerous. Lack of sleep makes our body insulin resistant meaning that our body is not efficient using carbohydrates, our body needs to produce more insulin to get the same job done.

Leptin is the hormone that regulates appetite and it tells us when to stop eating by sending signals to our brain that we are full and that we have plenty of energy. Lack of sleep lowers leptin in our body so it can´t send signals to our brain that we are full so we keep eating.

Ghrelin also sends signals to our brain and tells us when we need to eat. Lack of sleep increases ghrelin so ywe are hungry all day. This is why our craving for sweets and unhealthy foods increases.

During sleep our brain is recharging so that we can learn, understand and memorize things with ease, lack of sleep affects our cognitive skills making it harder for us to retain new information, to react fast and make good decisions. Our attention and alertness lowers and we won´t be as creative as we can be.

Lack of sleep sends the wrong signals and trigger this hormones in the wrong way affecting not only our fitness goals but our health in general. One night of poor sleep will affect our day and we´ll see it in the short run symptoms like feeling tired, sleepy, lack of energy, hard to focus, cravings increase specially for sweets, being in a bad mood.

Chronic sleep problems can cause many physical and health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, anxiety. It also make our hormones go out of balance the internal clock of your body go nuts.

Changing habits is key for good quality sleep every night, some of the causes of bad sleep are chronic stress and blue light, if we are stressed our body won´t relax and our mind won´t stop making it almost impossible to fall asleep and get the adequate rest. Blue light is present in almost all screens of technology devices like computers, lap tops, cell phones, tv. Avoiding the use of this electronics before you go to bed help you sleep better and faster, meditation helps you relax and calm and release tension from your body and muscles.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.