One way it weakens our vital energy is by interrupting our circadian rhythm - the 24 hour, day/night,
When the sun begins to set, fewer light impulses are sent to the brain which is the pineal gland's signal to begin secreting melatonin to induce sleep. It is secreted all night long until light impulses - traditionally (and preferably) from the sun - begin to stimulate your retina to send light impulses to the brain again which begins to decrease the melatonin until you wake up. (Alan, R. NYU)
This is why most articles that outline how to improve your sleep mention that you need a darkened room to help your melatonin to release and stay releasing throughout the night.
So What's The Problem?
Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles are often the culprit due to artificial light from the curlique, energy efficient light bulbs and the light from TV, computers, tablets, and phones.
The Center for Disease Control states that "Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic." One reason for this? Artificial light.
Gone are the days when we fall asleep soon after the sun sets and rise with the sunrise. Also gone is the sun as our main source of light. (Source for graphic)
What's wrong with artificial light?
The problem with the light from computers, phones, tablets, and from energy-efficient light bulbs is that they emit a short, wavelength light known as blue light. While all light can reduce melatonin, it is exposure to blue light at night that reduces our melatonin the most.
What can we do?
I've recently discovered a wonderful solution. It's an app called f.lux and I'm pretty sure it's the best thing since sliced bread.
It is a free app that you download to your Mac, Windows, Linux or iPhone/iPad, then set to your time zone (this is important). It adjusts your screen throughout a 24 hr cycle by reducing blue light as the sun sets for your time zone.
Ingenious, right? You bet!
Start Sleeping Better Immediately!
Since I've been using it, I've slept better than I have slept for a long time.
My husband and I have chosen to NOT have a TV, so we use my MacBook Pro to watch TV shows and movies. With f.lux, the display looks a little different - a softer, warmer light - and we don't mind it at all. (Downton Abbey, here we come!)
I recommend this for anyone who uses any sort of electronic screen, especially after the sun begins to set where ever you live. Download it to all your devices, and don't forget to turn some lights off in your house, especially the closer you get to bedtime.