Did you know that whenever light stimulates your skin or eyes, regardless of the source, your brain and hormonal system think it is morning? And, in response to this light, your body releases a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol activates the body and prepares it for movement and work.
This happens because we are designed to respond to the natural cycles of light and dark. As the sun rises, our body naturally releases a higher level of Cortisol. In the afternoon and into the evening when the sun goes down, these Cortisol levels will then begin to drop. This drop in Cortisol levels allow for the release of Melatonin and Growth/Repair Hormones. We are designed to begin to wind down as the sun goes down.
Being in a brightly lit room, in front of a TV or computer, or under fluorescent lights will trigger your body to think it is morning and will prevent the body from winding down and releasing Melatonin and growth/immune hormones.
There are many other factors that can disrupt your natural sleep cycles. Caffeine, sugar and tobacco are all stimulants – keeping you alert and awake, as are tv watching, tablets, computers and smart phones.
For the next few days, try sleeping in a completely dark room, avoid caffeine whenever possible, turn off the tv, tablets and smart phones a few hours before bed, and be active earlier in the day. Be sure to eat more green leafy vegetables during the day, and drink plenty of water to flush unwanted toxins. After a few days, you’ll find yourself sleeping peacefully and waking refreshed!