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Create A Device-Free Zone 60-Minutes Before Bedtime

I’ll admit that our family’s use of screens has increased a lot over the past few years.

I’m aware of how the blue light emitted from screens (phones, TV’s, computers, etc.) messes with your sleep hormones (cortisol + melatonin) and how stimulating it is to the body right before sleep but sometimes we fall out of practice of good habits.

Did you know that ANY light that you are exposed to greatly affects your sleep?

Both natural and artificial light, goes into your eye and hits your retina. From the retina it is transmitted to the SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus). The SCN is like a ‘master clock’ that governs your circadian rhythm. It also regulates critical functions such as behaviour, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism.

Did you know that blue light, the predominant spectrum of light that is emitted via most light bulbs, TVs, computers, tablets and smartphone screens tricks our brains into thinking that it is daylight?

These lights send signals to our brain through our eyes (via the retina) and photoreceptors in the skin that tell the master clock in our body that it is daytime, a time for being active.

Think about nature’s colours at sunset - soft oranges, yellows, pinks, and reds. Not bright white light.

These days, we really need to protect our sleep and create habits that support that.

We are bombarded by things that disrupt it:

  • overhead lighting

  • blue spectrum lights (most indoor lighting)

  • the draw of a great Netflix series

  • a ‘last-time’ social media scroll

  • late-night computer work

  • noises

  • temperature

  • notifications

  • and more…

I bet you’ve had the good intention to get to bed early but ended up scrolling aimlessly through social media, Netflix’s ‘recommended for you’ category or checking emails.

Start tightening up your evening screen time by:

  • setting an alarm to shut it all down

  • creating time and space for a screen-free nighttime wind down (enjoy a bath, a good book, listening to music, etc.)

  • pushing through that ‘uncomfortable’ feeling of not knowing what to do?

  • creating an evening docking station for your devices (outside of your bedroom)

  • putting devices on airplane mode

  • letting friends and family know so if they need to contact you, they should call you

  • committing to making this habit change

The winter season is a time for rest and recovery. Do what you can, when you can to follow nature’s rhythms and right now she’s saying sleep more!

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