You see, staring at screens gives off blue light. This blue light is fine in the morning when we wake up but we don't really want to have any blue light after sunset as this massively affects our mitochondria as well as our circadian rhythm and most importantly our hormonal balance without our bodies.
At night our cortisol levels should reduce and our melatonin levels should increase, in women; oestrogen lowers and progesterone increases and in men, progesterone lowers at night. Blue light influences our circadian rhythm and when exposed to it at night, it tells our brains that it is day time and not night time and it is easy to push through past that first wave in the evening when the body is winding down. I found this out when I had to work late when I ran a busy physiotherapy practice a few years ago before I used blue blockers and when I had high levels of stress and I had to work late. I learnt the hard way that when I pushed past this point, my cortisol remained high and I found it much harder to fall asleep, I struggled to get a good night’s sleep i.e. have better deep and REM sleep and over time I put on weight…lots of weight.
So many people talk about that if you want a better and productive work day it all starts with your sleep and your night routine the day before. And I have to agree here.
So, my night routine for healthy hormones and healthy mitochondria includes:
At night I started wearing a fairly inexpensive pair of blue blockers at night, in fact, I wore the yellow lensed blue blockers at night to start with. I started doing this a few years ago, and actually, it made a big difference. You see as someone who has light coloured eyes, my eyes are naturally light sensitive and sometimes I get headaches from too much light.
I found that working on my computer in the evening and watching television at night with my blue blockers made a difference to how my eyes felt. They no longer hurt after staring at a screen after a few hours when I implemented wearing blue blockers, using F.Lux software on my computer and on my phone and using the eye comfort setting on my phone as well.
I introduced softer lighting into my home for evening use 3 years ago and this made a huge difference. I use salt lamps in every room and keep using the top brighter lighting to a minimum. Last year I took it one step further and on my bedside table, I have a salt lamp and a dimmer light with a red bulb in it which I use at night. And my eyes love it.
Last year, I finally bought myself wear red night blue blockers when I got home in the afternoon or evening depending on the season as soon as it becomes dark. This took a bit of getting used to. You must be asking yourself why? You see I believe my eyes were used to more light being emitted from computers, my phone and my television when I compared my yellow day blue blockers and my red night blue blockers. It, therefore, took a bit of time for my eyes to get used to less light being available and emitted at night. And now this is the norm. I even use them on night flights when I travel and this makes a huge difference.
Magnesium drink at night 1 -2 hours before bed
I have been having magnesium at night before bed for at least 5 years and wow it makes me sleep like a baby!! And I can’t imagine life without it.
Some nights when I am home and I have needed extra help winding down, I will have a bath with magnesium and Himalayan salts. Remember the skin is the largest organ of the body so it all gets absorbed and utilised through our skin. I’m usually falling asleep within 15 minutes of being in the bath. So this is a great tip for those who struggle to fall asleep.
I limit screen time to a few hours and stop watching television around 930pm
Keep a look out for next week's newsletter which outlines the other half of my night routine habits
Ps: If you have not signed up for my free 5-day arm or leg mobility challenge or 3 -day wheelchair shoulder mobility challenge and would like to do so now, click on the link below and sign up to do it at a time of your choosing.