Stack of envelopes.

Mailbag! The No-Frills Sleep Solution

I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately and I think it might be the light in my bedroom. I have a more yellow light in my kitchen and I always feel tired in there. Could you offer some tips for sleeping better?

–Pete from Missoula, MT

This is actually a very popular question with my patients.

Sleep is one of the most important things you can focus on for overall health.

As far as the color of light effecting your sleep, you’re right – different wavelengths of light give our bodies different signals that affect our sleep.

In fact, the quality of light waves in the first minutes of daylight and the last few minutes before sunset are dramatically different from each other.

See, you have specific receptors in your eyes that are able to sense the differences in the quality of light, and then adjust your circadian rhythm (sometimes called your internal clock). If you’re inside during early morning or dusk, then you miss out on these clues… and that can disrupt your sleep cycle.

And just like the natural light from the sun, lightbulbs and other light sources like computers and televisions can ALSO alter your circadian rhythm.

The best thing you can do for resetting your body clock is to be outside at both dawn and dusk. Beyond that, it’s impossible to tell if switching your light bulbs around would make any difference.

Here are some more helpful sleep suggestions that can ensure you get a good night’s rest.

  • Sleep in a dark room and use white noise like a fan or sound machine.
  • Try to go to bed the same time every night.
  • Get off your screens (all of them!) at least an hour or more before going to sleep.
  • Good exercise makes your body more restful at night. If you can, exercise hard during the day – the harder the better.
  • Replace your coffee with green tea. Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine which helps keep you calm and improves sleep.
  • Melatonin is the best natural substance to get your circadian cycle back on track. It’s widely available as a supplement.
  • There are great herbs to calm you down and help you get a good night’s sleep, including lemon balm, hops, passionflower, and chamomile.

P.S. Have a health concern that’s worrying you? Click here  to submit your questions and get featured in the weekly mailbag!

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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