How To Sleep Better In 3 Easy Steps
This one was written way back on July 3, 2018. Has my writing gotten any better since than? Hopefully a little bit...
There are more and more “list” type articles abounding in the blogosphere. And guess what? A lot of them are great.
For example, check out this wonderful compilation of 25 ways to boost your Endocannabinoid System. This thing is jam packed with research-backed, actionable information.
With inspirational precedents such as the above in mind, I think I’m going to be making a lot more lists. They’re catchy, simple, and easy to bring into practice.
But I’m going to make them simpler. The problem with complexity, sometimes, is that it tends to dissipate focus. It’s better, and more effectual for learning, to focus on the building blocks.
Let’s say you’re addressed with a large amount of data. Unless you are an expert on the topic, you are not going to be able to identify and pick out foundational elements within the raw information.
For example, if we all read a blog detailing 30 ways to read better, and 15 of those ways were downstream of point #3, which gave direction on reading with your eyes fully open and focused on the page at hand…we’d all pick up on it. Because it’s obvious, and obviously critical to the act of reading itself. We’d realize those 15 points might be better suited to being subsets of other points, secondary bulletpoints, if you will.
With subjects that are new to us, though, it’s not so easy to pick up on such things. Details can actually detract from the main point. Large amounts of data really should be structured, either to show chronological flow of things, cause and effects, or natural cycles — something that reveals the connections between the points.
Here’s a simple list of 3 ways to improve your sleep — beginning immediately!!
1) Wake up with the sun.
Good sleep begins in the morning. Did you know melatonin is produced by the sun, in the morning, and then stored before being secreted at night? (Brennan et al, 2006) Yep. Not only that, but morning is when photoentrainment happens . Morning is the most critical, and effective, time of day for anchoring your circadian rythym to natural cycles.
So, wake up with the sun, whatever time that happens (unless you live in Alaska or something). And, as soon as is possible, go outside! Go to a park, a garden, your backyard, and get as much sun exposure as your self~awareness and your surroundings permit you (the balance of those two things is up to you).
Stay out in the sun for as long as you have time for, at least 30 minutes. This morning light, which is lacking UV wavelengths, is critical to priming your body to respond well to afternoon light without experiencing sunburn or excess free radical damage.
The benefits that sunlight and the photosynthetic effects it sets off are nearly endless (Mead, 2008). If you want to sleep better, whatever you do, don’t skip this step.
2) Get out in the sun.
During the day, continue getting sunlight. If you work indoors, get outside as often as you can. If you work outside, great. Just don’t wear sunscreen.
You’ll be fine — that is, not get sunburnt — if your dermal omega 3:6 ratio is on (Rhodes et al, 1995) and you primed filligrin formation via morning sunlight a few hours prior (Thyssen et al, 2015). Cellular and/or DNA damage from UV radiation? No…that’s what excitons are for!
3) Avoid artificial sunlight.
When evening time comes, get some more sunlight, then try to taper off.
Avoid any and all artificial light after dark (Bedrosian, 2017). This can be really impractical, but give it a try. Through making the effort, you’ll likely become aware of just how dependent on phones we as a society have become.
So, use candlelight, or invest in some good blue blocking sunglasses. Ra Optics makes some excellent shades, or you can get cheap ones off amazon. As soon as the sun goes down, put them on — or even beforehand. It should never be brighter in your house than it is outside.
Before bed, read a book. Stay away from technology. Stay away from blue light. And see what it does for your restfulness and your sleep.
Written (a long time ago) by Thomas Wrona, Cannabis Consultant & Copywriter.