Daytime Bright Light Exposure
Known as the circadian rhythm, your body’s built in time-keeping mechanism is determined by the amount of daylight you are exposed to during the day. Your circadian rhythm affects your hormones and thereby your brain and your body. Studies have shown that increased exposure to daylight improves sleep quality and duration and reduces the time it takes to sleep for insomnia sufferers.
Night-time Blue Light Exposure
By increasing your exposure to light at night, your circadian rhythm is detrimentally affected. With your brain believing it is still daytime, your melatonin levels become reduced, preventing relaxation and getting a deep sleep. Blue lights emanate from laptops, smartphones and televisions. The simplest way to reduce blue light exposure from these sources is to not use them for two hours before you plan to sleep. However, you can get glasses that block out blue light. Also, for your smartphone or laptop, you can get apps which block out blue light.
By consuming caffeine late in the day, even up to six hours before going to bed, can interrupt your sleeping pattern and result in considerably reduced sleep quality. Since caffeine can remain in the blood for six to eight hours after consumption, drinking large amounts of caffeine in the afternoon can have a detrimental effect on your sleep. Try quenching your coffee craving with decaffeinated coffee, after 3pm.
Regular Sleeping Time
The body’s circadian rhythm functions on a loop which naturally seeks to align itself with sunrise and sunset. By being consistent with the time you go to bed and the time you wake up, you can really improve your long-term sleep quality. Studies have shown that irregular sleeping patterns are the biggest factor contributing to poor sleep quality. Other studies have further shown that by not adhering to consistent sleeping and waking up times, your circadian rhythm and melatonin levels will be disrupted.