“Blue Blocker” Sunglasses

A Pair of Sunglasses

 

Excuse me, what?

This is a relatively unknown topic related to modern living that is getting more and more attention these days.  Like sitting at desks, eating processed foods, and sitting in bad electronic pollution; we are finding another caveat to our modern lifestyle.  Enter “BLUE LIGHT.”  Light itself has its own complications, but blue light seems to be more problematic.  What is blue light?  We are talking neons.  We are talking the blinker lights on your wireless routers and television screens.  The glow from the alarm clock.  The blue LED nightlight in the bathroom.  It is hard to escape this stuff in a modern household.  What is the problem?  Our bodies have evolved rhythms revolving around the sun for thousands of years.  It isn’t just light for us.  It literally stimulates the production or restriction of certain hormones in the body.  Sun comes up, wake up, move around, think, exercise, etc.  Sun goes down, slow down, sleep, recover, rest.  What happens when these hormones get tricked?  

More and more research is piling up suggesting that light (especially blue light) interferes with our bodies own mechanisms for producing or inhibiting hormones.  A big one is melatonin.  So logging onto your email at night may end up keeping you awake.  Is your insomnia actually from looking at your computer or television screen late at night?  Can you not fall back asleep because you check your cellphone at night?  Maybe that blue light in the bathroom wires you back up.  The problem is that we are only subtly aware that these things are happening.  So what is an average “JOE” to do?  Surely you don’t want us to sell or give away all of our technology, ask us to turn the T.V. off, and check all emails before 7 at night RIGHT?  Correct =)

Enter “Blue Blocking Sunglasses.”  These are inexpensive.  They are effective.  They don’t interfere with our lives much at all.  What are they?  Basically just plastic sunglasses that have strong filtering technology.  They are specifically designed to filter out 100% of that specific light spectrum.  Keep a pair or two around the house for work at night.  Just pop these babies on and go about your business.  This is even more important in the winter when the sun goes down early.  

BENEFITS?  Better sleep.  Improved mood.  Deeper sleep.  Easier to “unwind” at night.  Better recovery from exercise and stress.

That’s it guys.  Simple.  Other tips?  Replace as many “blue” or LED lights from your living space as possible.  Switch to old-fashioned night-lights and battery or wind-up alarm clocks.  Try to get as much computer work done before bedtime as you can.  REST WELL.

-JOE 

 

Benefits of Napping.

Is he really writing about how amazing naps are?  I thought that was a given.  Well of course everybody really loves a good nap, but some of us forget that we “have time.”  Maybe we have too much to do and no time to do it.  Maybe our job prevents us from accomplishing this.  I agree that our society isn’t exactly set up for nap-time…yet.  I keep reading more studies about big corporations having paid nap time during work.  They are realizing that the productivity of their employees actually goes up when  they take time off for naps.  Almost as if it gives them a second wind.  So ask take a few z’s at break time.

So let’s define a “nap.”  To me a nap is a rest period during the day.  This could be a “cat-nap” of 10 minutes to a full-scale 2 hour zonked out sleep-time.  There is something about daytime sleep that feels so regenerative.  Is there a proper way to nap?  I think any way is great, but there are a few tips of maximizing your energetic gains from a nap.

1. Nap outside if possible.  If the weather is nice, if the sun is out, if it’s not cold and wet, then try napping outside.  If there is sun, get it on your skin.  Breathe fresh-air.  Ground your feet.  You now have no less than 3 energetic inputs pumping into you while you are asleep.

2. Let yourself mentally let-go for the duration of your nap.  Part of the benefits here mean taking a break, or RELAXING.  So don’t be thinking about what you have to do after you wake up or what is going on in your relationship.  Just drop it all.  If it helps the fears, tell yourself you can pick back up all of your worries and problems after nap-time. =)

3. Use naps as a gauge for how tired you really are.  If you are scared to fall asleep because you know you will be out for hours that may be telling you something.  If you have great energy and feel powered through the day and just want a 10 minute siesta then that is great too.  Listen to your body.  It will let you know.

4. Don’t be afraid of the “non-nap.”  This is literally a 5-10 minute rest period.  Instructions:  Let go of all worries and stress, lay down for 5-10 minutes.  Take a few deep breaths.  It is amazing how much this little period will rejuvenate you.

5. If late napping is interfering with your sleep, then do it earlier.  Perfect napping times will differ for people but usually anywhere between 11 am and 4 pm are good times.

So in all, naps are great.  They are a very useful healing tool.  Use them to rest, repair, relax, and gauge how you are feeling.  I don’t think there are any downsides to napping (unless done really late in the day).  So kick off your shoes, lay out in the sun, on the couch, in your bed, and take a nap.

-Joe