Many people today are crying, “Help me get to sleep!” It’s no wonder they are because insomnia affects about 30 percent of Americans and fuels a $2 billion sleep medication industry. Although these prescription sleep medications are common, they also come with troubling side effects; these drugs can cause a dependence that may actually make you sleep worse and they can also quickly lose their effectiveness. So, are you wondering how to get to sleep fast without popping a sleeping pill? One of the best natural sleep aids may be to change your lighting after dusk.
Although going light-free in the evening is too much to ask for most, you can boost the production of melatonin – your body’s sleep hormone – and dramatically improve your sleeping habits by reconfiguring your evening lighting. Furthermore, studies show using computer screens, iPads, iPhones, televisions, and other electronic items after dusk significantly inhibits the production of melatonin.
How to Get to Sleep Fast – Turn off the LED Screens
Light with blue wavelengths from LED bulbs suppress melatonin five times more than orange-yellow light bulbs. Another study showed that exposure to bright light before bedtime and during usual sleep hours can suppress melatonin by more than 50 percent. The answer to overcoming insomnia could be simply reducing your evening exposure to LED and bright lights at night – especially 45 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime.
Sources of blue lights that can prevent you from sleeping include:
- LED light bulbs
- Computer monitors
- Laptop computers
- iPads, iPhones and similar devices
- Hand-held video games
- LED televisions
- LED digital clocks
How to Get to Sleep Fast – Reconfigure Your Nighttime Lighting
If you’re looking to get a good night’s sleep, think like a cave person and configure your lighting so that it mimics the light of a fire, which is rich in red and yellow wavelengths. This could mean shutting off the overhead lights and using floor and table lamps with orange and yellow bulbs in the evening. Wearing a night mask or putting a towel over the digital clock in your room can also support melatonin production.
How to Get to Sleep Fast – Balance Your Blood Sugar and Cortisol Levels
If dimming the lights doesn’t help you fall asleep, you may need to monitor for other causes of insomnia. Make sure you’re not suffering from high cortisol or blood sugar imbalances. Insulin resistance and high cortisol can dramatically impact sleep patterns. Also, low blood sugar from hypoglycemia may have you bolting awake at 3 or 4 a.m. unable to fall back asleep. So, eating a diet that stabilizes your blood sugar can help with sleep.
A good night’s sleep is about more than just feeling rested
Your body’s natural production of melatonin does more than help you sleep well. Numerous studies show low melatonin and poor sleep increase the risk of cancer, dementia and Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease, obesity, and other health issues. Consequently, if you’re sleeping less than 7 hours each night and regularly crying, “Help me get to sleep!” your health could be in jeopardy. Aside from turning out the lights, you can try our supplementary natural remedies for insomnia. By utilizing these natural remedies, you can rest assured knowing you’re taking positive steps to protect your health and wellness.
 Room Light Before Bedtime May Impact Sleep Quality, Blood Pressure and Diabetes Risk. ScienceDaily (Jan. 14, 2011).