Jessica Migala wrote for AARP that sleep is as elusive as leprechaun gold and twice as valuable. The number of health conditions linked to poor or inadequate sleep is almost endless, with obesity, diabetes and heart disease topping the list. But sleep ought to be something we can control — just get to bed early and sleep the night away, right?
So, how come you’re still so tired? The answer may surprise you. If you are not able to fall asleep, are waking up during the night or are just plain not feeling refreshed in the morning, see if one of these factors is souring your sweet dreams.
1. Blue-light insomnia
You’ve heard time and time again to turn off electronics an hour or so before bed because these devices emit a blue light that suppresses melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. However, glaring blue light even three or four hours earlier — like watching TV during or shortly after dinner — is enough to delay melatonin production, says Karl Doghramji, M.D., director of the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center in Philadelphia. You don’t have to turn off the tube, though.
He recommends wearing a pair of glasses that blocks blue light (available from a variety of online retailers) until you tuck in (and when you wake up at night, too). That way, you have no problems winding down with the TV on.