The Importance of a Pitch Dark Sleeping Experience and Sunlight in The Morning (Breather Episode with Brad)

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By Brad Kearns. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
(Breather) As you can tell by the title, this breather show is all about sleep – and the specifics of sleep. That means: how you sleep, what your habits are pre-bedtime, what your bedroom environment is like – anything particular to the way you go about getting some Zzzz’s. This show will help you identify what you’re doing right, and what you’re doing wrong when it comes to sleep – which will in turn, ensure that you get the best sleep of your life.

These are a few bedroom rules I won’t budge from. One of them is Establish a sleep sanctuary. This means that you need to commit to maintaining an incredibly tidy and minimalist bedroom, reserved for sleep, intimacy, and other restful activities like pleasure reading and meditation. Absolutely no screens, piles of mail, stacks of magazines, partially completed home improvement projects, or any such clutter allowed. Absolutely no mini-work areas! Google “minimalist bedroom design” imagery to get some inspiration to achieve a sanctuary feel. It’s essential to create both a physical and psychological separation between your bedroom and other areas of your house where you do work or consume entertainment. Maintain a temperature of between 60-68F (16-20C) to facilitate the slowing of assorted metabolic functions that help your body get and stay into sleep mode. For this same reason, you don’t want to do a workout or sauna in the evening hours.

The second important practice is achieving total darkness for maximum sleep efficiency. This one makes a huge difference. Use blackout blinds or drapery, and eliminate even tiny LCD screens and power indicator lights. Even minor light influences can significantly disrupt your attempt to cycle gracefully throughout all phases of sleep. Biohacker extraordinaire Dave Asprey, author of The Bulletproof Diet and host of the Bulletproof podcast, describes how he travels with a roll of electrical tape so he can cover up every random light emission in a hotel room, including fire sprinklers and other offenders.

As Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival details, it’s not only your eyes that are sensitive to light; skin cells all over your body have very sensitive light receptors. One study revealed that flashing a single beam of light on the back of the knee was enough to disrupt melatonin production. Taking a quick glance at your smartphone screen to see what time you stirred in the middle of the night can be surprisingly harmful beyond suppressing melatonin. Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, sleep therapist and author of Tired But Wired: How To Overcome Your Sleep Problems, asserts that checking the time can “send you into a whirl of calculations and worry about how much sleep you will or won’t be getting.”

Strongly consider charging your devices in the hallway, or at least out of arm's length. Kelly Starrett calls this setting yourself up for success by eliminating even the possibility of temptation. Don’t be one of the 80 percent of Americans who check their phones upon awakening (per a 2013 Adweek report), or worse yet when you stir at some point during the night. Should you refuse, Julie Morgenstern, author of Never Check Email In The Morning explains that, “you’ll never recover.” Numerous studies reveal that once you activate the shallow, reactionary brain function in the frontal cortex with a smartphone engagement—especially first thing in the morning when you are locking habit patterns into place—it’s difficult to transition into high-level strategic problem-solving mode. Who wants to start their morning off like that? I definitely don’t, and I bet you don’t either. So many people are locked into bad habits and their sleep suffers as a result, thereby affecting their performance during the day. This show provides a remedy for this problem, teaching you how to align your circadian rhythm to natural light and helping you identify the habits that are actually a hindrance to your body and your mind, so you can finally experience the deep, restorative sleep you deserve.

TIMESTAMPS:

Most people don’t realize that it's not only the eyes bring light into our bodies. [02:22]

Think of creative ways to make your bedroom pitch dark. [05:39]

You really shouldn’t have to get up in the night to pee. [06:30]

Train your circadian rhythm by popping up early in the morning and exposing yourself to sun. [08:32]

Brad talks about his morning routine. [09:45]

Try the orange tinted glass in the evening to block the harmful spectrum of blue light. [11:29]

Jack Kruse’s article suggests the best time to have sex….and other activities! [12:43]

Even minor light influences can significantly disrupt your attempt to gracefully cycle through all phases of sleep. Get your phone out of the room! [13:33]

We sleep less deeply away from home. [16:11]

124 episodes