I’ve spent a lot of time talking about pollution this month. In fact, I devoted an entire article to it in the latest issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives. So if you’re not a subscriber yet, consider signing up today.
Because the fact is, poor air quality is an urgent threat to the public health, despite ongoing efforts to improve it. And people are dying because of it.
But environmental, chemical toxins aren’t the only forms of pollution you encounter every day. And they’re not the only ones destroying your health, either…
The real reason cities never sleep
Melatonin is the hormone responsible for keeping your body’s natural sleep cycle on schedule. And your pineal gland releases it in response to darkness.
This is why I always recommend avoiding excessive light at bedtime—especially if you struggle with insomnia. But how much light is too much? Well, the answer might surprise you…
A recent review of data from nearly 2,000 studies showed that six lux is the brightness threshold at which the human body begins to slam the brakes on melatonin release. But we’re constantly exposed to higher amounts in our daily lives.
For instance, a clear, starry night has a brightness level of 0.0001 lux. A full moon shines up to 0.3 lux. But outdoor lighting, like your typical street lights? Well, that throws off a whopping 150 lux of illumination.
Not to mention, the reflection of electric lights off of rain, snow, clouds, and other particles generates a phenomenon called “skyglow”—a form of light pollution that emits 0.1 lux of illumination all by itself.
And as I’ve mentioned here before, your sleep quality is the first casualty of this type of pollution. But it’s certainly not the only one…
Melatonin matters more than you think
Melatonin affects more than just your sleep cycles. In fact, as a key regulator of your body’s circadian rhythms, it influences practically every aspect of your health in ways that you probably never imagined.
Thousands of studies have demonstrated this hormone’s role in a long list of critical functions, including:
- Energy production
- Heart health
- Reproductive health
- Respiratory function
So needless to say, there’s a whole lot at stake where your melatonin levels are concerned. And anything that suppresses its release is going to take a serious toll on your health, one way or another.
Luckily, however, it’s pretty easy to dodge this threat—even for those of us born-and-bred in “the city that never sleeps.”
Here are my three go-to strategies:
- Invest in room darkening shades or curtains. This will help keep the skyglow out of your bedroom while you sleep. (A sleep mask will do the trick, too.)
- Be conscious of blue light. Don’t sabotage yourself by soaking up blue light before bedtime. Turn off your electronic devices (yes, that includes the TV) well before you plan to turn in, and keep your other lights dim.
- Opt for smart supplementation. Don’t hesitate to supplement if you’re still struggling with poor sleep. As you get older, your natural melatonin production can take a nosedive—so you might still need a nightly boost no matter how good your sleep hygiene is. I recommend a starting dose of 3 mg of melatonin at bedtime. (You can slowly increase the dosage in increments if needed—up to a maximum dose of 15 mg.) A little experimentation over time will help you find the dosage that works best for you.
For additional tips, I outline an easy, comprehensive, drug-free plan to combat your insomnia and enjoy perfect sleep for life in my Perfect Sleep Protocol. To learn more about this online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now.
“Light pollution can suppress melatonin production in humans and animals.” Science Daily, 12/19/2019. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191219111431.htm)