Sleep in the dark.
Your circadian rhythm is a 24-hour biological cycle that determines, among other things, when you feel tired enough to sleep. Sunlight is the primary environmental cue that synchronizes your circadian rhythm to Earth’s 24-hour day. When the retina detects sunlight, the brain inhibits melatonin production and we feel awake. Artificial light, especially blue-colored light, which shines abundantly from gadget screens and status lights used in electronics, also affects melatonin response1. To fall asleep faster, and to prevent yourself from becoming alert during the night, ‘extinguish’ gadgets before going to bed.
- In Eyes, a Clock Calibrated by Wavelengths of Light. Laura Beil, The New York Times.
- Chellappa SL, Steiner R, Blattner P, Oelhafen P, Gôtz T, et al. (2011) Non-Visual Effects of Light on Melatonin, Alertness and Cognitive Performance: Can Blue-Enriched Light Keep Us Alert? PLoS ONE 6(1): e16429. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.001642