Hack Your Environment
In today’s blog we are going to talk about some hacks to get some sleep with a newborn.
- The importance of sleep
- Having a baby
- What can you do?
The Importance Of Sleep
Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave of diseases. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly. This can impair your abilities to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories.
Most adults require between seven and nine hours of nightly sleep. Children and teenagers need substantially more sleep, particularly if they are younger than five years of age.
There is an internal “body clock” that regulates your sleep cycle, controlling when you feel tired and ready for bed or refreshed and alert. This clock operates on a 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm.
Light heavily influences the circadian rhythm. The brain contains a special region of nerve cells known as the hypothalamus, and a cluster of cells in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which processes signals when the eyes are exposed to natural or artificial light. These signals help the brain determine whether it is day or night.
As natural light disappears in the evening, the body will release melatonin, a hormone that induces drowsiness. When the sun rises in the morning, the body will release the hormone known as cortisol that promotes energy and alertness.
If you are exposed to bright light during the evening, you can really dysregulate your circadian rhythm causing sleep disorders and other conditions like chronic inflammation in the body.
Having A Baby
Becoming a parent is something to celebrate but, as we all know, it comes with some inevitable challenges, especially around sleep. Trying to get some sleep with a newborn can be really tough, but there are some things you can do to increase the chances of having a restful night.
One of our founders, James, became a parent not long ago and he managed to keep the same amount of deep sleep despite having LESS sleep, his sleep being continually broken, plus adding erratic bedtimes and routines.
Today we are sharing with you how he did it!
What Can You Do?
As you have just read, light is the factor that signals your brain when it’s time to stay awake or go to sleep. The hacks we are going to share with you, all take into account that principle, to turn it to your favour.
Hack 1: Red Light Therapy every morning.
Doing a red light therapy session will not only energise you for the day, but will also act as a circadian marker. This means it will indicate your brain that the day has started and cortisol can be released.
There are also several studies (2) that show that red light exposure in the morning can cause an increase in melatonin production and deeper sleep as a result in the evening.
Hack 2: Red bulbs or candles in the evening.
To avoid any possible bright light entering your eyes after sunset, make sure your environment is prepared. This part is critical to ensure your body does not get any signals that it is morning time, and starts releasing cortisol instead of melatonin.
To do so, just change your bulbs for red bulbs, use candles or use your red light therapy device as ambient light. You want your environment to mimic the colors of the sunset.
Hack 3: Use blue blocking glasses 1-2h before bedtime
If you can’t change all your bulbs or have no way to change the color of your environment, you definitely need blue light blocking glasses.
James wore them religiously 2 hours before getting into bed, and also every time he had to get up throughout the night. Similar to using red light, the glasses ensure that the eyes are protected from any blue light exposure.
If you follow these three hacks you should see a noticeable improvement in your sleep patterns despite it being broken or less frequent.
If you want to try an extra hack to get some sleep with a newborn, SUPPLEMENTS can also help you out.
The supplements that James took were: Magnesium (L-Threonate is the best) and Niacin.
You want to take them before bed.
Lastly, create a routine with your partner so you both have the chance to sleep every other night. If that is not possible because of work, do weekends and weekdays. It really is important to be on this together so you both have time to rest and be there for the baby.
As James put it, “The last 8 weeks have been incredible, a truly magical time for my family and I. It has also brought me back to the power of these bio-hacks, and the effects they can have on sleep and life quality.”
If you are a parent trying to get some sleep with a newborn, we really encourage you to give them a try.
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Sources of information:
- Why do we need to sleep – https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/why-do-we-need-sleep
- Red Light and the Sleep Quality and Endurance Performance of Chinese Female Basketball Players