An ER Doctor-Approved Bedtime Routine For Stellar Sleep

Ask any expert, the key to balancing your circadian rhythm, and they’ll likely agree with Long: “Leverage light.” See, as natural light starts to dwindle, your body’s internal clock kick-starts melatonin production, which signals that it’s time for sleep. “So that means that for an hour and a half before bed, we aren’t using bright lights,” Long says of her household, as any cool, bright light makes it harder for your body to register that it’s time to wind down. “We turn off the bright overhead lights, and we just use dim, 30-watts-or-less light bulbs on all of our bedside tables” (like these low-watt light bulbs from Amazon). 

“Then on the flip side, when you wake up in the morning, the first thing you want to do is get bright light,” Long continues, as the sun’s natural blue light regulates your sleep and wake cycle, helps boost alertness, and can even elevate your mood. “You’re resetting your circadian rhythm for the day, so it will make you more awake at that moment and make it easier to fall asleep at night.” 

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