Improve Sleep With Circadian Rhythym LED Lights

Are you having trouble falling asleep at a normal hour?  The light you are exposed to in the evening might be confusing your body’s circadian rhythm. 

Circadian Rhythms

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “circadian rhythms refer to the cyclical changes—like fluctuations in body temperature, hormone levels, and sleep—that occur over a 24- hour period, driven by the brain’s biological “clock.”  In humans, the biological clock consists of a group of neurons in the hypothalamus of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).  These internal 24 hour rhythms in physiology and behavior are synchronized to the external physical environment and social/work schedules.  In humans, light is the strongest synchronizing agent. Light and darkness are external signals that “set” the biological clock and help determine when we feel the need to wake up or go to sleep. In addition to providing synchronization in time between various rhythms, the circadian clock also helps promote wakefulness.”

circadian rhythm

Melatonin, Your Body’s Sleep Hormone

Your body produces the important hormone melatonin, the so-called sleep hormone. Increasing your body’s melatonin production can improve your sleep. Melatonin is produced by your pineal gland, normally only when you are indarkness. ‘

The Problem

Using artificial light, television, smart phones and tablets at bedtime shuts down melatonin production.  It’s the blue rays in ordinary light are the problem because only the blue component of light shuts down melatonin production.

The Solution

iLumi BulbThis is where LED Circadian lights come to the rescue.  LED lights can emit different colors and now many companies are adding a circadian setting that automatically syncs the temperature of light with the rising and setting of the sun, eliminating all blue light in the evening.  The brand I use is from iLumi.  You purchase as many bulbs as you need and sync them to your smart phone using bluetooth technology.  I like it because it saves the hassle of setting up a separate WiFi router.  Set all bulbs to the circadian setting and that’s it!  I love the “set and forget” style that is always on, regardless of how I turn on and off the lights individually.

Results

I noticed the effect on my sleep cycle almost immediately.  I just seem to get tired around 9:30 to 10pm and have no problem getting to sleep.

Additional Measures

I also recommend putting blue light filters on your computer, tablet, and smartphone.  Any blue light will make your brain think it is the sun and keep you awake.  Finally, blackout your bedroom by using blackout curtains or clipping a fabric over any windows.

You can also supplement with Melatonin to correct your circadian rhythm.  The common dosage of 1mg to 3mg is too much and will most likely leave you feeling groggy the next day.  Instead, use a 0.3mg dose.  I usually break a 1mg sublingual tablet into thirds