Techniques and Technologies to Improve Sleep
Eighty percent of adults in the US struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a recent nationally representative Consumer Reports survey of 1,767 adults. There are many reasons why you can’t sleep well. Below are just a few reasons and tips. Please note that I do not have any invested interest in the technologies or products mentioned nor am I an expert in them so there may be something better out there. I am just sharing information because I want you to be healthy and happy!
- Here’s an article with good tips for how to fall asleep the natural way. It points out that some prescription and over-the-counter medications can impair sleep. Medical conditions such as arthritis, heartburn, menopause and prostate enlargement can interrupt sleep, so you may need to address those issues. Also, this article talks about a cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia treatment which is usually covered by insurance. It lists some of the techniques a therapist might recommend which you could try out.
An article with some solutions to exposure to blue light at night which can affect your sleep and may cause diseases.
- The above article mentions that inexpensive sunglasses with orange-tinted lenses block blue light, but they also block other colors, so they're not suitable for use indoors at night. The article also says that glasses that block out only blue light can cost up to $80. I don’t know if this $35 pair I just ordered is the best, but this Amazon review by a medical doctor says he actually measured these glasses.
- If you have to use a monitor at night, two researchers I spoke with separately came to the same conclusion. They both concluded that BenQ manufactures the most economical and best monitors. BenQ claims that their technology filters blue light and harmful radiation which reduces damage to the eyes and adjusts the display brightness based on your surroundings for added comfort. You can find various Amazon & other online reviews about the pluses and minuses of the manufacturer's various models. The two researchers told me they personally experience less eyestrain and dryness with these monitors. I looked at a $95 BenQ monitor one of them got and instead of the usual glare, the effect was softer and more matt-like, even though the colors were good. If you find something better, let me know in the comments below.
- If you can’t get a low blue light monitor, then you can get apps that turn on a blue light filter on your device at night.
- Windows 10 comes with an optional blue light filter, but some reviews say this free lux app is better and easier to customize. I like it. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it.
- Smartphones typically offer a blue light filter or you can use an app. IPhones have a Night Shift feature which you can select that automatically adjusts the colors of your display from sunset to sunrise.
- Smartphone apps can sound as good as a white noise machine according to a Consumer Reports article.
- I just downloaded a free iPhone app called White Noise. It has a 4.8 out of 5 ratings with over 82,000 ratings. You can choose from all kinds of nature sounds and white noises. This app has a lot of flexibility, you can mix sounds together and download hundreds of more sounds for free. It has a timer and a sleep clock with adjustable color and brightness. This looks like it will be handy if you’re traveling and staying in a noisy hotel.
- If you try some of the above tips and are still having problems with sleep, it may be time to get back in tune with nature. The simplest and most effective way to reduce exposure to light at night is to turn out the lights and go to bed early. Sleep is deeper and more effective so you don’t need as much. There certainly is wisdom in the old saying that early to bed and early to rise makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise!