Most of us are aware of the harmful light that is being emitted from our phones, but did you know that it could be impacting your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep for longer?
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Gain More Meaningful Sleep
If you are looking at your phone before you go to sleep or as soon as you wake up, blue light blocking techniques and products can make a huge difference in your ability to gain more meaningful sleep.
There are so many simple and easy ways that you can start improving your sleep instantly, and blocking out blue light is one of them. Today I dive into some sleep hygiene tips that you can do effortlessly to improve your quality of sleep, reduce headaches and ultimately feel better every day.
Do the effects of blue light play a role in how you interact with your devices? Share your blue light blocking techniques with us in the comments below.
On Today’s Episode
- One of the easiest things you can do to improve your sleep tonight (11:44)
- Breaking down the problem of blue light and why you should be avoiding it (13:40)
- How blue light can interfere with your brains signals and regulation (15:45)
- Easy things that you can do to block the blue light and make your sleep better (17:05)
- Which blue light glasses you should use to get the best results (18:47)
Resources Mentioned In This Show
“We have so much stress in our lives as it is, and the shoulding, ‘we should do this, we should do that, I need to this, I need to do that’. Maybe if we started asking ourselves what we want to do, what we feel compelled to do, what we like to do, then we would not be so hard on ourselves.” (10:18)
“If getting more sleep has been a challenge for you for lots of different reasons, do the sleep hygiene stuff, because some of it is one and done.” (13:19)
“The light that we get from the sun, that white light on that visible spectrum, that light has a huge component of the blue wavelength. And the blue wavelength of that light tells our brains to be alert and awake.” (14:57)
“Let’s try and manufacture perhaps a more natural cycle of light or a more natural flow of light throughout the day given that we are living in a digital world.” (18:27)
“If you are really looking for an easy way to make a difference, start to wear amber glasses.” (21:29)
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Blue Light & Your Sleep Video
248: Blocking Blue Light For Better Sleep FULL TRANSCRIPT
This is Harder to Kill Radio episode 248 the Fierce Love Friday edition. Today on the show we’re going to be talking about one of the easiest ways to start improving your sleep. This is so freaking easy. You’re going to love it. Alright, let’s go. What’s going on? Welcome back to the Friday episode of the show. There’s so much newness happening today, so first thing, if you noticed we have a new intro to the show which I’m excited about. I feel like this more clearly describes the mission that I’m on and this movement that I’m hoping to gather of all of you here and really sets the tone for this show. So there you go. That’s new. Also, I’m going to be telling you about something really special going on in my business. There is going to be a new feature today, which I’m hoping that more people will take advantage of.
I just rolled this out in my online community, the Core 4 Club, but it is a way that you can actually leave me a voice message and ask me a question and I will answer a question on each episode if you’re slow Friday, which is super fantastic and I’ll tell you that about that in a minute. And then also today we’re going to be talking about blue light and why if you are not sleeping well, if you’re not falling asleep very easily, you need to block that fucking blue light from getting into your eyes. And I’m going to share with you probably one of the easiest things that you can do to make a huge difference and why it’s important. And also I’m recording this show on video at the same time. There’s so much happening. I know I just, we’re just going to try a bunch of new things and experiment and see what happens.
All right. I alluded to the fact that there’s something special going on in my business in the month of October and I actually missed the date. So September is the anniversary. Every year of me starting my blog, which then turned into my business, which has now morphed into what I do today and every September I celebrate that with something and I completely fucking forgot because September was really busy with travel and I’m trying to make some moves behind the scenes in the business, which had been really hard and I’ll probably talk about that soon on another show. But suffice to say, I completely forgot. So every year I love to celebrate the fact that I started this blog back then and it’s turned into this thing now and what I’m doing in the month of October is running a special, and that is if you get yourself one of the made strong programs, which is my 30 minutes a day, three times a week, get stronger, no complicated stuff, do it in your house or at a basic gym.
If you get made strong during the month of October, you will get The Core 4, which is my new book, number one, Amazon bestseller, loved by thousands of people all around the world. If you get made strong in the month of October, you’ll get The Core 4 for half price and it’s signed by me, me personally, I will sign it and mail it to you and I’m just really excited to get both of those into your hands because they work very synergistically. So I will link to that in the show notes. If this is the month of October and it is 2019 you can head over to Stephgaudreau.com look in the shop and you’ll see that special there. If this after October of 2019 I’m so sorry because I’ve learned that people go back to the very, very beginning of this show and now we have over two and a half million downloads four and a half years later. It blows my mind all the things that we’ve covered, all the topics, all the ways the show has changed and yet here you are and you’re still part of the show, which is really amazing.
All right, and so our new feature, this is where a listener is going to leave me a voice message and I’m going to answer a question on the show on Fierce Love Friday, which I’m really excited about. So before we do that, if you want to leave me a question that you want me to answer, you can go to [inaudible] dot com slash message and leave me a voicemail. It’s best if you’re a little bit succinct, which is not my strong point. I know, I think if you have a podcast, you generally tend to not be a super succinct talker, but go to https://stephgaudreau.com/message leave me a question particularly something about fitness, about nutrition, about mindset, something that you really want an answer to and I will dive into it on the show. So today’s question is from a lovely friend of mine Eva and let’s listen to Eva’s question.
Thank you so much Eva for your question. You are the first ever listener voice message question on the show, which is really cool. Gold star. Excellent. Thank you for being the pioneer in this world. So to answer your question, and if I’m understanding question correctly, it is, I don’t really love walking. I do love hiking. I would easily be able to hike for an hour to an hour and a half, a couple times a week. Is that better or worse than walking 30 to 45 minutes a day. So first things first, you have to do what you like doing. And I can sit here and talk about the benefits of strength training all day long and advocate for it and say why it’s amazing and all the benefits it has for women, especially as we get older, all the benefits for our brains on and on and on. But if somebody has tried strength training and there they just legit hate it, then I’m not going to say that you have to force yourself to do something that you hate, cause you’re not gonna want to do it.
You just aren’t going to want to do it. So I think in this case as a general answer, do what you like to do and if walking for 45 minutes a day with the dogs is not something that you enjoy, then don’t stress about it. We have so much stress in our lives as it is and then like the shooting, we should do this, we should do that, I need to do this, I need to do that. Maybe if we started asking ourselves what we want to do, what you feel compelled to do, what we like to do, then we would not be so hard on ourselves feeling like we’re doing things wrong. And the other thing I would just maybe mention is maybe, and this is probably a question back, but what about walking for 10 minutes? It may mean taking the dogs out for a quick walk instead of putting the pressure on yourself that I need to walk for 30 to 45 minutes straight.
I think just generally upping our baseline of movement by doing things around the house can really help. Help us feel better, helpless, feel less sore or achy and that that sort of stuff up our baseline of movement throughout the day so that we get that non exercise activity thermogenesis going that I talk about in the core four. But ultimately if that doesn’t make sense for you either, I mean, gosh, don’t stress about it. So do what you love. If you love hiking a couple times a week, amazing. If you can include some other kind of low key movement around the house, whether that’s chores, it’s gardening, it’s doing the laundry, it’s putting away the dishes. I mean these are all things that we normally have to do and those do count as movement. So thanks Eva for your question. I really do appreciate it and yes, everybody submit me or questions stephgaudreau.com/message and I will pick on to answer on each show.
Let’s jump into the actual real meat of the show today, which is talking about blue light and one of the easiest things that you can do to improve your sleep like tonight. Okay. In the core for one of my pillars is to recharge your energy. And I do talk about sleep in addition to the other, you know, hopefully 16 hours of the day and how you’re managing your energy through that time, your workflow, your stress and all that stuff while you’re awake. But what about sleep? You know me, I could caveat this a million times and say, you know, you have to do the best you can do. That’s one of the four agreements, right? Do your best, do your best wherever you’re at in your life right now. And if you are doing things like caring for a child, elder caring, if you have a wacky work schedule, look, you just had to do what you can do.
And sometimes increasing the sleep hours that you’re getting is hard slash also sometimes we need to do hard things and we can do hard things and sometimes that does include habit change. If scheduling and caring for family members is not quite an issue. If it’s just, you know, I’ve been bingeing on Peaky Blinders and can’t seem to make myself go to sleep. That’s a bit more of a habit change thing that has to, you’ve got to buck up and do that. All of that to say there are some sleep hygiene things that you can do and a lot of them are make do it once and it’s done. And that’s what I would challenge you to start doing if getting more sleep has been a challenge for you for lots of different reasons. Do the sleep hygiene stuff because some of it’s one and done or you get the thing and then it or you install the thing on your computer and it’s done. And I talk about so many of these things in the core four, but I do want to focus today on the topic of blue light. So let’s just break it down in a super quick nutshell. Okay, so why is blue light not great for us?
And it goes something like this. You know, if you think about when we did not live in artificially lit environments, we have, we only had the light of the sun and then the moon and the stars. None of us listening to this show, more than likely live in a house without electricity. So artificial light is just part of our lives. Now we have to learn how to adapt and deal with it. And particularly, I don’t want to, I’ll blame this all on Thomas Edison, but in particular the blue light emitting devices that we have now. So these are back lit screens, LEDs, things like that. These light sources are troublesome for our bodies for one main reason, and I’m just going to say it kind of briefly here and give you the nutshell, but the light that we get from the sun, that white light of that part of the, that visible spectrum, that light is, has a huge component of the blue wavelength and the blue wavelength of light tells our brains to be alert and awake and it does this through a series of different steps, involves different parts of our brain, involves the pineal gland, the suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN, the optic nerves.
I’m kind of going back out. So optic nerve sends signals to the SCN then dispatches information to the pineal gland and says either release melatonin or don’t release melatonin, be alert or start to become sleepy. That’s how it’s supposed to work. However, when we in our modern lives are exposing our eyes and our skin to blue light after the sun really starts to go down naturally, that can interfere with our brains signals and our ability to regulate. You know, our brains trying to determine do I make you more alert or do I make you less alert?
And sitting here and telling you that you need to never get on an electronic device after the sun goes down in your local area is probably going to be a pretty hard thing to overcome. A pretty hard habit to overcome. Maybe you are somebody who sun goes down and you get off all of your screens and devices and you’re reading or whatever. Wonderful. But a lot of people are not there or they’re going to say, Hey, you know what? This is the only time I have to unwind and watch a show or be on social media or I work at night and I need to be on these devices or I work in an environment where there’s a lot of light at night. So what am I going to do? You know, this is too hard for me and I want to take away some of your re I was gonna say excuses and I mean that in a really kind way, but I want to take, I want to make this easier for you.
I want to lower the bar, lower the barrier to entry and so one of the things that is so easy to do, so easy to do is to wear a pair of blue light blocking glasses, blue blockers, Amber glasses, blue light blocking glasses. I use these terms interchangeably and that’s essentially what they are and they are glasses with a different special lenses. Oftentimes they look yellow or orange or red, and their job is to act as a filter between your eyes and the light source and to filter out some of this blue wavelength and think about it when the sun starts to set, any photographer knows that when the sun starts to set, you get that beautiful golden orange red. Those colors start to come through. And if you’ve ever gone camping without artificial light, you know that pretty quickly. After a couple days of being out in more natural light cycles, you start to adapt to it pretty quickly.
The sun starts to go down and you start to get kind of sleepy. So let’s not try to, let’s try to manufacturer perhaps a more natural cycle of light or a more natural flow of light throughout the day. Given that we are living in a digital world, I mean again, expecting that we’re all just going to go live off the grid without electricity is probably not going to happen. So how do we introduce that? How do we start to filter light out? And again, one of the simplest things is to get these blue light blocking glasses. Now I have had many different pairs over the years. I’ve had everything from the cheapy $8 Amazon Amber glasses all the way up through these new pair from TrueDark that I’ve been using since the summer and I can tell you that you know something is better than nothing and if you’re starting out and you say, okay, I can’t afford a pair like TrueDark, then start with the cheapy ones off Amazon, I’ll link to them.
They are not very comfortable so you know there’s going to be, there’s going to be a couple of things going on here, comfort, how much blue light is actually being blocked and so on and so forth. But I’d worked out the math and if you use my code that I have for TrueDark, which is saving 10% (code: steph) then I have two pairs. I have classic and elite. I kind of like the classic better as I find they’re a little bit more comfortable for my particular face, but whatever. If you use that code and you get a pair, then they work out to be, if you wore them just on a daily basis, and we’re just talking about how much it costs per day, it’s going to cost you 22 cents a day. If you wear them for a year, if you have them for two or multiple years, that costs goes down dramatically.
And I know you’re probably thinking if you’ve not used these before, Oh, how could this make a difference? You know, is it going to work for me? And I had to tell you, so this is a shout out to my friend Dan Davis and his wife Jenn. So Dan and Jenn, I’ve known for many, many, many years, their Twitter. And we finally got to meet this summer at my book launch party, which is another story. But Dan reached out to me and asked me if I thought that blue light glasses would make a difference. Blue light blocking classes would make a difference for him. And I said, you know, I’ve used mine. I used to have a pair from Gunnar that was nowhere near as orange. And I got great results. I’ve got good results with Gunnar. I sleep well anyway. I tend to fall asleep quite quickly.
But I said, you know, I’ve had pretty good success with Gunnar, but these new glasses that I’m using from dark are very orange. And I dunno, give them a shot. You know, what do you have to lose? And I heard, I heard back from him just recently and he basically told me how he, they’re sleeping so much better already. And I just thought, you know, I know people get become skeptical. They think, Oh, it’s just like another thing. Is this just like a scam or is this just a, you know, another thing that biohackers use? And the answer is no. So if you’re really looking for an easy way to make a difference, start to wear Amber glasses and you can still do other things while you’re wearing them. Watch TV, be on your phone. I mean, we can talk about things like mental stimulation and why that might not help you to sleep if you are somebody who struggles with sleeping.
But I included this in the, in the core four in the book, there was a survey done in 2017 that said 66% of people look at their phone within 30 minutes of going to sleep. If you are that person and you’re, you know, we’ve got all that blue light pouring into your eyes and then you’re not, you’re at, you’re finding it hard to fall asleep or you’re not sleeping well. This is such an easy intervention by the glasses once put them on when it gets dark, it’s really that simple. It, I know it sounds complicated, but follow the sun, follow the sun. What is the sun doing in the summer? It’s staying up later in the winter. It’s staying. It goes down earlier. So think about that. Of course, if you’re in the opposite hemisphere and then the seasons are reversed, but the same deal applies. This same study found that 14% of their 14% of people looked at their phone immediately before going to bed, probably to start set an alarm or something like that and there was a different study done in 2016 of 600 American adults.
They found that more smartphone use around bedtime was associated with poor sleep quality and quantity. So again, if cutting down on phone usage or you know changing your habits around the technology that you use or watching TV or whatever is not going to happen, then do something else instead. And there are, like I said, are there examples in the book of things you can do, but I find that the Amber glasses, once you get them is one of the easiest interventions to do. You just put them on when it gets dark. Now if you find that you are getting drowsy way too soon, let’s say it’s five 30 it’s the middle of the winter, it’s already dark and you put your glasses on at five 30 and you start to feel drowsy by seven then maybe wait a little bit longer and wear them maybe between an hour or two of going to sleep.
So I would, that’s probably the only nuance obviously in the summer is staying light later. Think about that. You know, if you’re getting drowsy too soon and you’re falling asleep or you’re getting really tired and you do want to stay up a little bit later, you may want to hold off in the winter when the hours of light are very short about when do you put them on. So you can find, I will, I will put examples of these in the show notes of the different ones that I’ve had at different price points. But again, I really am loving these TrueDark wines and I’m wearing them. I mean you own that. You know that I only recommend things that I use in like so you can find out more about TrueDark at stephgaudreau.com/TrueDark and look at the different ones that they offer. They have ones that go over your glasses.
They have ones for kids, they have different styles for adults, so lots of good stuff there. You can use the code steph to save 10% and I’ll link that as well, but Hey, go and look at what other options are there, see what fits in your, in your price range and get the damn glasses and start over. I say that with so much love with fierce love, but I really want you to start improving your sleep. All right, that’s a wrap on this episode of Harder to Kill Radio. Make sure you grab the show notes at stephgaudreau.com there are going to see links to everything that I talked about in this episode along with the full transcript. If you’d rather read at the same time, if you prefer to read this instead of listen, then it’s all there for you. You can go ahead and leave me your comments. What do you think? Are you using blue light blocking glasses currently? How have they made a difference for you? I really want to know your feedback over on the show notes as well. All right. Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s episode of Harder to Kill Radio and until then, be well.