Adjusting the internal clock

Ever since Thanksgiving I have not been sleeping as much as I need, but with a little reflection I have figured out why. I have violated the simple rules of light input and rest in general. In order for your body to stop producing cortisol and start producing serotonin in enough quantities for you to sleep, you need to cut out the light levels in the evening.

Light is a big factor as well as stress and food in regulating your hormone levels to the proper balance. It is even more essential now. Light levels are low here in the upper left hand corner of the United States this time of year and naturally our bodies like to sleep more because of the lower light levels. The problem is that it is easy to get caught up in web surfing, TV or other pursuits that encourage light exposure well after it is dark.

What to do about it then? First thing is to recognize the problem, then act accordingly. During the day I have two OTT light lamps on my office that are on all day. After I leave work I normally have a long drive home and the light levels drop naturally. By the time I normally get home it is dark. Second thing that has to change is lowering the levels of light at home the best I can also making sure I am not cramping the style of my wife. Sunglasses and lower lights in the hours before bedtime is the rule for me. The third thing to, is to turn off the TV or computer a minimum of one hour before bed time.

The light coming into your eyes and consequently your brain has a detrimental effect on your hormone levels and your sleep. The last thing is for me or anyone for that matter is to go to bed earlier and recognize that it is alright to rest.

Americans are so uptight about having to do stuff especially this time of year. They don’t call it the silly season for nothing folks…

Well there you have my plan for getting more sleep and achieving better health. Tomorrow is my annual physical and it will be interesting to see how my blood work turns out now that I am months into my new/old Paleo lifestyle changes.

JP

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