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The number one reason you're not getting enough sleep at night.

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We all have many people in our lives who are always tired. They never go out unless they are going to work; all they want to do is sleep, their diets are poor, their moods are always low, does this sound familiar?

Maybe you are that person I am talking about, most people have a hard time sleeping through the night. There are a ton of factors at reasons, which ultimately stop the average person from getting a good night of rest. Things like stress, LCD screens, caffeine, and television all play a vital role.

A new study from Oxford University is showing how the amount of light in your bedroom can also be playing a role in your health. A study of more than 113,000 women indicated that the brighter the bedroom at night, the greater chance that the person sleeping in it would be obese.

The modern bedroom is full of lights, from glowing computers, clock radios, phones, and any other number of blinking electronic devices. The problem is chronic exposure to light at night can lead to a whole host of health problems.

A number of health problems come with obesity and insufficient sleep, so this might become a major health concern. When you are tired and struggling through your day your body craves calories to keep you motivated and moving, and this causes you to overeat and mainly on foods that are unhealthy. And when your room is too bright, it has a major impact on your sleep.

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Before the end of the Stone Age, humans were exposed to two different kinds of light that were responsible for the circadian rhythmicity. During the day, we had sunlight, and at night the moon and stars, and then perhaps the occasional campfire.

Light is like a drug; melatonin suppression is key to understanding much of why LAN is so horrible for us. This workhorse biochemical is produced by the brain’s pineal gland at night, when It is dark, to regulate our sleep-wake cycle. It lowers blood pressure, glucose levels, and body temperature, key physiological responses responsible for restful sleep.

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The part of your brain that controls your biological clock is the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), a group of cells in the hypothalamus. These cells respond to light and dark signals. The optic nerves in our eyes senses light and transmits a signal to the SCN telling the brain that it’s time to wake up. It also kick starts other processes, like raising body temperature and producing hormones like cortisol. Our cortisol levels are relatively low at night, allowing us to sleep, and higher during the day, allowing for the stabilization of energy levels and the modulation of immune function.

But LAN unnaturally elevates cortisol levels at night, which disrupts sleep and introduces a host of problems relating to body-fat levels, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation. It also contributes to sleep debt and a disruption the neuroregulation of appetite.

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Indeed, studies have shown that exposure to room light before bedtime shortens melatonin duration by about 90 minutes compared to dim light exposure. In addition, exposure to room light during usual hours of sleep suppresses melatonin levels by more than 50%. That’s significant.

So, even before you hit the hay, the light in your bedroom is causing your problems. With the introduction of tablets, smartphones, and energy-efficient light bulbs, it’s an issue that’s only getting worse.

Your body is more important than having gadgets in the bedroom, make your room a room to do what the name entitles Bed! Turn off your Nook, TV, Tablet, and phone, try and get a good night’s rest!

How many hours do you average per night? 

This article was originally published on Organic Health and has been republished with full permission. You can read the original here. 

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