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How to Increase Your Deep Sleep by 15%

Written by Siim Land

You may already be aware that blue light in the evening disrupts your body’s circadian rhythms and can reduce the quality of your sleep, but it can still be pretty hard to escape it.  Between computers, TVs, smart phones and tablets, we’re surrounded and accustomed to the constant illumination of modern life. So, how bad is blue light at night for you really?

Blue Light 101

Blue light influences hormone secretion, heart rate, alertness, sleep, body temperature, and gene expression (1).

Sources of blue light include the Sun, artificial light sources like digital screens, smartphones, TVs, lamps, traffic signs, computers, fluorescent and LED lighting.

Blue light exposure has a very important role in regulating your circadian rhythms and biological processes.

Unfortunately, because of technology and new gadgets, we’re getting exposed to more and bluer light for longer periods of time, which can promote obesity, depression, diabetes, cancer, neurological disorders and poor sleep.

Cover Your Eyes

Most of the circadian signaling is transmitted through the retinas through which blue light travels into the brain and stimulates the inner biological clock. However, it’s been shown how even shining some blue light on the back of your elbows or knees suppresses melatonin the sleep hormone.

In fact, one study used a fMRI analysis to look at how exposure to dim light at night while sleeping affected the brain activity of 20 healthy men (2).

They found that:

  • Exposure to 10-lux light for one night significantly decreased brain activity in the right hemisphere, which lowered their working memory performance as well.
  • Exposure to 5-lux light didn’t have a significant effect but it still may have an indirect effect on cognition.

That’s some scary stuff to think about because sleep is such a crucial thing for your overall health and brain’s development.  Suppressing melatonin because of blue light sneaking into your bedroom prevents your brain from repairing itself and can cause missing out on the most vital components of sleep.

Protect Your Sleep With Your Life

The invasion of artificial light into the darkness of night can be a big threat to human health and sleep and it’s not something you’d want to overlook.

Imagine how many people are suffering from suppressed melatonin by staying up late and exposing them to blue light in the evening. Their brain literally thinks its at the equator with the sun blazing on their head even though it’s 10 PM at night. My eyes…It takes several hours before melatonin can begin to rise again and by that time it may be too late…

Just to be clear: not ALL blue light is bad.  Getting enough blue light during the morning parts of the day is also important for boosting your alertness. At night, however, exposure to blue light will suppress your body’s natural melatonin production and make you sleep worse. I’ve been using some blue blocking glasses for over a year and I noticed a significant improvement in my sleep quality if I wear them.

How I Increased My REM Sleep by as Much as 15%

A few weeks ago I bought theses night time Truedark glasses (with red lenses), and they block out absolutely all artificial light. They’re like these serious superhero goggles, and even though they look a little silly, they’re really amazing. I looked at the sleep data from my Oura ring and I gained about 10-15% more deep sleep every single night that I opted to wear the TrueDark Twilight Classic sleep-hacking glasses. That’s like quite crazy to think about because I was already using glasses that blocked out most of the blue light, but apparently, it wasn’t enough.

Now imagine someone who’s not using any protective eye-wear, and they’re likely looking at computer screens or some other kind of digital device up until they go to bed. Their melatonin levels will be severely suppressed throughout the day (and night), causing their circadian rhythm to get all out of wack and make them feel completely fatigued the next day.

Beforehand, I was using some regular blue blocking glasses you can get from any online store. I was aware that they weren’t the highest of quality and I was fine with that. However, after wanting to take my sleep optimization to the next level, I was looking for the best protective eye-wear.

TrueDark Glasses Review

Like I mentioned earlier, most circadian signaling gets transmitted through the eyes, which is why you’d want to protect them against artificial light in the evening. Unfortunately, most glasses don’t really filter out all of the junk light frequencies, which makes it more difficult for your body to produce melatonin naturally at night time.

  • Common blue blocking glasses don’t cover the wavelengths that affect the production of melanopsin — not just blue light, but also green and violet light (3).
  • TrueDark Twilight Classic  glasses use patent-pending technology that filters out the wavelengths that stimulate melanopsin sensors — maximizing your sleep quality, performance, and health.

The TrueDark Twilight glasses are a class of their own because they block out 98-100% of blue, green and violet light, depending on which Twilight style you choose. When I first wore them, I literally almost walked into walls like a blind bat. Be careful that you don’t trip over your dog when you wear them!

Overall, I’m very satisfied with the TrueDark Twilight glasses and they’re definitely the best ones out on the market. The regular yellow-lensed blue blocking glasses can be worn during the earlier parts of the night or when you’re going out but the Twilight glasses are best worn about 30-90 minutes before bedtime — all depending on your individual biology and what stimulants you may have had earlier in the day.

Tips for Deep Sleep

Here are some additional tips for getting more deep sleep:

  • Daylight Exposure – You want to set off a proper circadian rhythm in the morning by spending time outside for 10-15 minutes. Even if it’s cloudy, you’ll activate the circadian clock in your brain and get a better night’s sleep.
  • Be Physically Active – If you’re exercising consistently, you’re going to make yourself more tired and yearn for better sleep.
  • Eat Some Fat and Protein at Dinner – Foods high in tryptophan like turkey, eggs, salmon, pumpkin seeds help to produce serotonin the relaxation hormone.
  • Stop Eating at Night – You want to stop food consumption at least 2-4 hours before going to bed. This is a pretty big one. Too much food sitting in your stomach prevents the body from repairing itself and falling into deep sleep.
  • Red Light Therapy – Using a red light therapy device in the evening mimics the natural sunset and will promote melatonin the sleep hormone. I turn down all the blue lights in my house and immerse myself in red light for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Wear Blue Blockers – I start wearing my blue blockers about 2 hours before bed, especially if I’m still watching screens or TV.

When I do stick to this routine, I sleep like a log, and I have the sleep data to prove it.

References

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Healthy Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Get Mom something that will make her feel appreciated, and healthy too!

Moms sacrifice a lot — sleep, time, money, and clean carpets. What’s the best way to say thanks? Give her a gift that lets her know that her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed and that you care about her well-being.

Here are some of our top picks for Mother’s Day gifts that we think your mom will love:

Midnight Shift Overnight Facial Oil
By Moonlit Skincare

This facial oil uses powerful ingredients — including ginseng and jojoba — to moisturize, plump, soften, and smoothen uneven skin tones. It also has a calming lavender scent that helps induce calming and rejuvenating beauty sleep!

 

How it works:

  • Ginseng: tones and brightens
  • Papaya: maximizes cell turnover
  • Green Tea: neutralizes free radicals
  • Jojoba: antibacterial, moisturizing, softens skin
  • Lavender: calms the nervous system

Why Mom will love it: The lavender helps induce a calming effect before bedtime. And who doesn’t want to wake up with smoother, moisturized skin in the morning?!


Sleep Crown Over-The-Head Pillow, Pillow Mist

By Sleep Crown

This is the world’s first over-the-head relaxation pillow, designed to block light and disruptive ambient noise while sleeping. This pillow is handmade with premium Bamboo Jersey and Vegan Down. It gently hugs the face with just the right amount of pressure, making you feel super cozy in bed.

The Pillow Mist that pairs with the Over-The-Head Pillow is comprised of Lavender, Sandalwood, Roman Chamomile and Lime. Ther aromatherapy blend will cue your systems to prepare for sleep.

How it Works:

  • Bamboo jersey knit is a super-soft, natural, sustainable fabric with wicking and cooling capabilities
  • Hypo-allergenic and Vegan
  • Aromatherapy promotes a sense of calm

Why Mom will love it: The Over-The-Head Sleep Crown Pillow is made out of premium ingredients that are sourced in the United States. Better rest at night means a better, more refreshed mood during the day.


Blue Light-Blocking and Sleep-Hacking Glasses

By TrueDark

Overexposure to artificial blue light can seriously disrupt your mom’s circadian rhythm. By blocking the proper amount of “junk” light at different times of day, your mom will be able to prevent eye strain, improve sleep, and maintain peak energy levels.

How they work:

TrueDark Daywalkers come in two flavors: clear or yellow lenses. The clear lenses block 40% of blue light, and the yellow lenses block 75% of blue light. These glasses are intended to be worn while using digital devices and, or while exposed to artificial light (think: fluorescents and LEDs) for extended periods of time during the day. If your mom works in an office setting and sits in front of the computer for 8-10 hours a day, help her protect her eyes, mind and body!


TrueDark Sleep-Hacking Glasses have red lenses and comparatively block 98-100% of blue, green and violet light, depending on which style you get. They are designed to help induce deep sleep quickly at night — even if you are staring at screens on digital devices in bed 🙂

Why Mom will love it: By taking more control over the light in her environment, your mom will be able to better align her natural body clock to the rise and fall of the sun, and subsequently live healthier. Better sleep at night will help her feel better and have a more productive day tomorrow!


Instant Radiant Package

By Alitura

Not enough time to schedule a spa day? Bring the spa to Mom! Alitura offers a full line of natural skincare products that help nourish and rejuvenate skin.

 

The Instant Radiant Package includes a Derma Roller,  Gold Serum, and a Clay Mask.

How It Works:

  • The Alitura Derma Roller helps:
    • boost collagen production
    • reduce the visibility of scarring & premature skin aging
    • combat stretch marks & cellulite
    • reduce the appearance of large pores
    • minimize the appearance of bags & dark circles under eyes
  • The Alitura Gold serum includes:
    • Vitanol to combat fine lines and wrinkles
    • Copper Tripeptide-1 to improve skin elasticity and density
    • Astaxanthin (an antioxidant) to reduce inflammation and wrinkles
    • Marine Collagen to reduce fine lines
    • Co Q10 to improve the health of your skin at a cellular level
  • The Alitura Clay Mask includes:
    • Freshwater Pearl Powder to reduce redness and irritation
    • 6-hour Grass-fed Colostrum to help regenerate skin cells
    • American Ginseng to eliminate blood impurities
    • 10% L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) to brighten the appearance of skin
    • Rhassoul Clay to detoxify the skin
    • Calcium Bentonite Clay (Green Desert Clay) to extract acne-producing toxins and metals
    • Kaolin Clay to help purify, nourish and heal the skin
    • Organic Kelp Powder to promote a radiant complexion

Why Mom will love it: This ‘all-in-one’ spa-day treatment can be used in the comfort of her own home and for a fraction of the cost of going to a real spa!  Visit them at alituranaturals.com and use code BIOHACKED20 at checkout!


TrueLight Energy Square

By TrueDark

There is scientific evidence that shows Yellow, Red, and Near-Infrared light spectrums have a biological impact on our bodies.  The red and near-infrared spectrums have a much deeper penetration level than other light spectrums, which allows them to reach the hypodermis and have benefits that are so far-reaching.

The TrueLight Energy Square uses a patent-pending combination of light, including deep red, red, near-infrared and yellow light to help the skin and body heal better and faster.

How it works:

  • Red 660nm and 630nm wavelengths can:
    • enhance blood circulation
    • have anti-inflammatory effects
    • quick muscle recovery
    • increased collagen production
    • Improve the appearance of skin
    • reduces scars, wrinkles, & fine lines
    • Speed up wound healing
    • decreases pain
  • NIR 850nm wavelength can:
    • penetrate all the way through skin and bone
    • helps prompt tissue and deep wound healing
  • Yellow 580nm wavelength can:
    • be a drug-free alternative for skin redness and flushing
    • reduce skin irritation and rosacea
    • heal UV damage
    • help flush waste from the skin
    • boost lymphatic flow
    • reduce the appearance of tiny blood vessels on the nose/face
  • Steady or Pulsating modes can be used:
    • Steady for help reducing pain
    • Pulsating to assist with cellular healing

Why Mom will love it: The TrueLight product line is designed with cost, size, and transportability in mind. Compared to most light therapy products on the market, TrueLight is extremely affordable, and the Energy Square, in particular, is a great solution for targeted healing (e.g. the face, shoulder, knee, etc.)

From our family to yours, Happy Mother’s Day!

    –  Your Biohacked Team