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January 28, 2021 5 min read

We know that getting sunlight early in the morning is beneficial to our mood and sleep and that being exposed to light at 9pm via our mobile phone or laptops can disrupt our night’s sleep. Being exposed to bright light during the day is good for us, as it resets our internal clock, suppresses sleep, and improves alertness.

While a few minutes of bright light may be enough to nudge our clock and synchronise our internal clocks with the morning light, we need an hour of bright light to suppress melatonin (and sleep), and we may need more than an hour of light to stave off depression. In the evening it works differently. As we wind down the day and prepare for sleep, we need less light or even no light. Bright light in the evening confuses our circadian clock, making our bodies think that the evening has not yet arrived. Even a modest amount of light may prevent melatonin from accumulating enough to make us sleepy. Of course, in our modern lifestyles we cannot switch off all the lights and spend evenings in complete darkness. But, we can avoid bright lights, or light that is rich in blue light, by choosing to work under dim light or light that is orange or red in colour. Similarly, exposing ourselves to bright computer screens, smartphone, or TV screens, even in an otherwise darkroom, can modestly suppress sleep.

What can you do to optimise light for better health? The simple rule of thumb is to expose yourself to as much daylight as possible during the day (without looking directly at the sun!), as little light as possible in the evening, and absolutely no light when you sleep (i.e. sleep in complete darkness)

While a few minutes of bright light may be enough to nudge our clock and synchronise our internal clocks with the morning light, we need an hour of bright light to suppress melatonin (and sleep), and we may need more than an hour of light to stave off depression. In the evening it works differently. As we wind down the day and prepare for sleep, we need less light or even no light. Bright light in the evening confuses our circadian clock, making our bodies think that the evening has not yet arrived. Even a modest amount of light may prevent melatonin from accumulating enough to make us sleepy. Of course, we cannot switch off all the lights and spend evenings in complete darkness. But, we can avoid bright lights, or light that is rich in blue light, by choosing to work under dim light or light that is orange or red in colour. Similarly, exposing ourselves to bright computer screens, smartphone, or TV screens, even in an otherwise darkroom, can modestly suppress sleep. 

This is an app that you can download on to your computer if the computer does not have a similar mechanism that will change the colour of your screen to block the blue light . Link to app Flux.com to change the colour of your computer screen. light https://justgetflux.com/research.html 

What can you do to optimise light for better health? The simple rule of thumb is to expose yourself to as much daylight as possible during the day (without looking directly at the sun!), as little light as possible in the evening, and absolutely no light when you sleep (i.e. sleep in complete darkness).

Even if you live in Florida or the south of Italy (extremely sunny regions), you may not be getting enough bright light if your daytime job keeps you inside a windowless office. Taking a walk outside or having breakfast or lunch next to a large window or on a patio is a good way to get an hour or two of bright light. Looing at bright sunlight for 10/15 minutes daily is very good for you. Having bright LED light in the office also helps. Towards evening and night, the same bright light can work against your health. Using a dim, orange-tinted light is much better.

To solve this problem, some people have started to use blue filtering glasses to reduce their evening light exposure. These eyeglasses make everything look slightly yellow, orange, or even red. Although many users report they feel sleepy sooner, or that the glasses reduce eye strain at night, rigorous research on these glasses is still lacking. Using blue filtering glasses (or a blue filtering coating on regular prescription glasses) in the evening may have some benefits, but they should not be used continuously, as wearing them during the day may deprive us of the blue light needed to suppress sleep, improve alertness, and reduce depression.

Getting to bed on time somewhere between 10 and 11.30pm and sleeping in complete darkness  should be the goal if you want to enjoy a truly rejuvenating night’s sleep. 

To enhance this experience you might like to sleep on a silk pillow slip. There are alot of silk pillow slips on the market. The quality of the silk used makes a difference . The density of silk is measured by momme. A 19mm pillowcase has 32% more silk than a 16mm pillowcase and a 22mm pillowcase has a 20% more silk than a 19mm pillowase . I had a Irish Wedding dress designer make us 100% Mulberry Silk pillow slip made with 22 Momme silk finished beautifully with a fine zip closure. They are made in a white silk . They are available from our website. I probably would not have believed the hype around silk pillow slips until I experienced the comfort for myself - I initially had one made to trial it for myself - as we age a nights sleep - sleeping awkwardly on a cotton mix pillow slip can age you overnight as you awake with a new crease on your cheek -thankfully this normally softens as the day goes by. While it’s a known fact that getting a good night’s sleep is key to looking your best, there is still a lot of confusion about whether sleeping with your face on its side can cause wrinkles. A smooth surface with very little friction, means less tugging on skin than with a traditional cotton pillowcase. We get crush wrinkles from sleeping on our side/face, so we may get less of those when sleeping on silk. Studies show that friction from tossing and turning causes creases in the skin, but a silky smooth surface can reduce that effect in the long run. 

The influence of the sleeping on the formation of facial wrinkles https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22506801/

Irish made 100% 22 Momme Mulberry Pillow Slips https://www.nualawoulfe.ie/collections/irish-made-silk/products/silk-pillow-slip-irish-made-100-mulberry-silk


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