Blue Light exposure

Blue Light exposure

Blue light exposure, and the possible dangers surrounding it, has been a topic widely circulated over the past few years, especially with the dramatic increase in smart phone users.

 

So, what is blue light, and could it be damaging our sleep?

Blue light is a form of LED light which is usually transmitted from common house hold technologies, such as televisions, lap tops and smartphones.

Exposure to natural forms of light throughout the day has been shown to be incredibly beneficial to mood, health, vitamin D production and a healthy sleep.

Exposure to light in the day can also suppress the sleep causing hormone melatonin- a reduction is light in the evening leads to an increase in this hormone, which then proceeds to cause drowsiness.

However, not only can blue light exposure occur late into the evening, it can also suppress melatonin at a much stronger rate than natural sunlight.

Studies have shown that blue light exposure in the evening before bed can shift circadian rhythms drastically- leading to a disrupted sleep.

Studies show that the average sleep time has decreased significantly over the past two decades, particularly in teens.

Often, an avalanche affect occurs, where teens are over exposed to blue light, sleeping less, and hence suffering with low mood, low energy and an over reliance on caffeinated drinks.

So, what you can do to combat blue light exposure?

Work on limiting exposure to blue light in the evening.
For many, this can understandably be challenging. Many of us watch screens in the evening to relax and switch off our minds after work, so cutting out that altogether is tricky.

Start slowly, reducing blue light exposure throughout the evening, and stop blue light exposure at least one hour before bed. When you feel ready to decrease blue light exposure further- go from there.

• Install a blue light blocking app.

• Install a blue light blocking app. If you need to be exposed to blue light during the evening, for example, you might work night shifts- a simple way to avoid over exposure is to download a free blue light blocking app onto your devices, to sleep more soundly during the day.

• Try using dim red lights in the evening. Avoid having LED lights in your place of sleep. Dim red lights have the lowest form of light exposure, meaning they can help to aid your sleep.

• Soak up that sunlight! Soaking up as much sunlight during the daytime as you can will help to reset your circadian rhythms, meaning that a small amount of blue light exposure come evening time will not be able to upset the balance!

Healthy Breakfast

Healthy Breakfast

4 Healthy, Quick, Breakfast Ideas:

 

 For Life on the Move Try out these quick recipes for days when you could do with a few extra minutes in bed.

 

Yogurt Smoothies

If you’ve spent a little longer than usual in bed but still want to grab a healthy a fulfilling breakfast, then smoothies are the answer. Yogurt smoothies tend to be thicker and by using Greek yogurt, you can make sure that they’re packed with protein, meaning you stay full for longer.

Just take some frozen fruit (bananas and berries work the best), yogurt and a milk of your choice, before blending everything up! Pour into a glass to serve and if you’re rushing, using a portable cup can make for a perfect snack on the way to work.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Perfect for the people who love to sleep in! Overnight oats are simply a blend of oats, liquid (either milk or yogurt), salt and a sweetener. Simply mix up the ingredients in a jar before bed and leave them to soak overnight. The oats will have absorbed the liquid, making for a soft and creamy breakfast!

Try adding some chocolate chips/coco powder and a tea spoon of peanut butter for a delicious, protein packed twist.

Banana Pancakes

Simple, healthy and effective. Banana pancakes can be made in minutes and are packed with protein, potassium and lots of calcium for the day ahead. Just take two bananas, one egg, a splash of milk and a sweetener of your choice, before blending it all up and frying spoonfuls of the mixture into pancakes! Add your topping of choice, whether that’s banana, peanut butter or honey and granola, and your breakfast is served.

Avocado and Eggs on Toast

Probably the most iconic image of Instagram, you can’t go wrong with is poached eggs and smashed avocado on toast. It’s part of social media’s heritage and it’s here to stay. Just take one avocado and smash it up with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt before spreading it onto a toasted bread of your choice. For the perfect poached eggs, break them into cups first, before gently popping them in simmering water for three minutes! Don’t forget to boomerang it for social media!

Taking care of your body in during the winter months

Taking care of your body in during the winter months

Winter will soon be upon us, complete with the coughs, sniffles, dry skin and dark nights.
In a bid to stop the effects of winter consuming your body, health and mind, look at these tips on how to stay healthy and happy during the colder months.

 

Get plenty of light

A lack of light in the winter can cause us to experience lethargy and tiredness. Combat this by taking walks on bright winter days and bringing more light into your home.

Stay hydrated

You may carry a water bottle always in the summer, but unbeknownst to many, hydration is just as important in the colder months. Remember, it doesn’t have to be water, grabbing a hot chocolate whilst out with friends or having a hot soup for lunch can not only warm you from the inside, but hydrate you as well!

Get the flu shot

Health organizations tend to offer a flu shot around the winter months. Grabbing one is quick, easy and accessible- and will also mean that you have less chance of falling ill with the flu this cold season.

Go on walks

Walks out in the open air during the daytime can be a great way to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), an emotion experienced by millions each year. Fight it with a boost of fresh air, sunlight, serotonin and oxygen.

Stick to a consistent sleep routine

Early sunsets and dark mornings can mean that you sleep routine flies out the window during the winter months. Sticking to a firm sleep schedule and maintaining a calming night routine will help you to get the sleep you need to get up and moving in the morning.

Stock up on that vitamin C and stay hydrated

Vitamin C is an incredible anti-oxidant that can prevent against a variety of coughs and sniffles, and something you need in large quantities during the winter months. Starting your day with a glass of fresh orange juice, chewing on a vitamin C tablet or even grabbing some hot lemon and water can boost your immunity and really set you up for the winter day.

Anxiety and Insomnia

Anxiety and Insomnia

Sleep and Anxiety : What are the links?

 

There is plenty of evidence pointing towards sleep disturbance and anxiety, with sufferers staying up late into the night due to anxious thoughts. Indeed, constant worry does inhibit our brains from switching off – meaning that with thoughts racing in our minds, peaceful, beneficial rest is rarely achieved.

Check out these tips for beating stress and stopping the spiralling cycle.

 

 

Limit caffeine and alcohol

Consuming too much caffeine, or, drinking the substance late into the day, can actually inhibit sleep and can even cause anxious thoughts to pop up as you try to get some rest.

A tip for avoiding caffeine is to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and if you feel the afternoon slump coming on, head out for a stroll at lunchtime to get some much needed fresh air – if you work at home, maybe head out for a run!

Embrace calming exercises

Anxiety can often manifest itself in a jumble of thoughts flying around our heads, meaning that we find it hard to focus on the most important thing: sleep.

Meditation and yoga are great for training our minds to clear away the clutter and focus on one factor. Try downloading a few apps and give them a try before going to bed, it definitely takes practice, but with the right approach, it can really help to curb anxious thoughts.

If you’re struggling, ask for help

At times, stopping anxious night time thoughts requires more than just exercising or turning your phone off, if the techniques discussed do not seem to work, then ask for help. Getting to the root of your anxious thoughts can be a great way to get a better nights’ sleep.

Limit screen time

Phones, tablets and TV screens tend to emit a substance called blue light, which can play with our natural bodily rhythms and can cause us to feel awake for longer. Trouble is, these devices are also pretty good at providing a welcome distraction from anxious thoughts.

A great way to still get this distraction is to read a book, the compelling story will pull your mind away from anxious thoughts, and the gentle reading will hopefully send you to sleep.

Write down your worries

A great way to combat stress and anxious thoughts in the evening is to write down everything you are worried out before heading to bed. This way, you can look down the list and work out how to solve each and every one of them – you’ll also come across a few that will make you think why you were even worrying about them in the first place!

Plan you day

Along the same theme of writing down your worries, a great tip is to plan a to-do list for the next day just before you head to sleep. This way, you won’t be worrying about getting everything done in time, as your whole day will be planned for you before you even wake up!

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to encourage relaxation and sleep. Check out our top picks of sleep boosting oils, all of which can easily fit into any sleep hygiene routine.

 

Lavender

When it comes to sleep boosting essential oils, lavender tends to spring into people’s minds, it’s definitely the most popular and well known when it comes to aromatherapy.

Studies have shown inhaling lavender can cause a drop in blood pressure, heart rate and even skin temperature, all of which are key components to falling asleep.

Put a few drops of lavender in an essential oil diffuser an hour before bed for a much more restful sleep.

Don’t have an air diffuser? No problem, just pop a few droplets straight onto you pillow or invest in a pillow spray!

Lemon Balm

It can be pretty tricky to sleep during illness

Lemon can be a brilliant scent to inhale before heading to bed if you are suffering from a cold.

Not only can a hot honey and lemon drink soothe sore throats, the steam is also great for inhaling before rest to clear the sinuses for sleep and therefore reduce sleep disruption.

Valerian

Valerian root tends to be the main ingredient in most herbal sleep aids.

It can be brewed into tea, taken in tablet form or used as an oil before rest.

Just a few drops in a diffuser of a few droplets rubbed on the wrists can help to aid relaxation.

Chamomile

You’re probably familiar with chamomile tea and its calming affect, and the oil version of chamomile is no different.

Just a few drops in a diffuser, sprinkled on a pillow or rubbed into your wrists can be a great sleep aid.

There are also plenty of tea options, hand creams and even body sprays and bath oils to really encourage sleep.

sleep facts

sleep facts

10 Brilliant Sleep Facts

 

Everybody Dreams- every single night

Although many of us do not remember our dreams, everybody does dream. We all actually experience 5-7 dreams each night! We tend to be unaware of this due to the speed in which we forget our dreams, sometimes just a few seconds after waking up. Try keeping a dream journal to document your experiences.

No one in your dreams is a stranger

Although the faces in our dreams can seem strange and even alien at times, everyone who appears in our dreams is based off people we have seen in our lifetime, even if it’s just a fleeting glance.

Some characters in our dreams can be made up of an amalgamation of differing faces. Spooky stuff!

Athletes need more sleep

It all comes down to rest and recovery. Did you know that athletes need a huge amount of sleep to ensure that they recover well? Around ten hours per night!

Humans spend 25 years asleep

You’ve probably heard the saying that humans spend half of their lives asleep, and that’s not far off the truth.

The actual average is 25 years. It’s definitely dropped with the introduction of artificial light and technology, but it’s still a pretty long time to be dozing!

The average person falls asleep in seven minutes

Although it might feel like much longer, it actually takes the average person just seven minutes to drop-off into slumber. Any longer than this and you might actually be sleep deprived!

Women sleep more than men

On average, women sleep longer than men. The reason for this is that women are more prone to multitasking, meaning that their brains take longer to recover than men’s!

New parents lose 6 months worth of sleep

It might seem hard to believe, but parents with new borns actually lose a whopping six months worth of sleep in the first two years of their child’s life!

New born babies sleep- a lot

On the subject of snoozing babies, they sleep a lot. You might think that ten hours for an athlete seems plenty, but new born babies actually need 17 hours per day!

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