5. Avoid Blue Light
One of the last things I usually do before retiring for the night is check my phone for emails, watch a few YouTube videos and then hopefully doze off. This behavior is actually counterproductive if you are trying to fall asleep. Electronics emit blue light, which suppresses the production and release of melatonin in our bodies. Melatonin is a sleep-promoting substance that peaks before bedtime and helps to regulate our circadian rhythms.
It’s a hard habit to break, but if you are adjusting to a shift change or simply having trouble falling or staying asleep avoid all electronics 2 hours before bedtime. If you simply can’t live without your electronics in the evening, try downloading F.lux for your computer and a blue light filter app like Twilight for your phone. These free apps control your screen and blocks blue light in the evening hours.
For those of you who are really serious about minimizing blue light exposure, there are even sunglasses and lenses you can purchase that claim to block blue light. Consumer Reports ran a test on three different “blue blocker glasses” and found that the relatively inexpensive ($8) Uvex Skyper (orange-tinted) safety eyewear cut out almost all blue light (You can purchase them on Amazon by clicking here). Your family may give you some funny looks, but trying wearing them for a few hours before bed and see if it makes a difference to you. For $8 you can’t go wrong.