In Day 3 of the 14-Day Sleep Challenge, Dave focuses on light.
Basically, as the sun sets, you want your home environment to be in alignment with the outside environment. As it gets dimmer outside, you want to be able to control the light inside so that it gets dimmer and darker as well to regulate your circadian rhythm.
In your bedroom, you want it to be as dark as possible for sleeping at night. In fact, he says that even the smallest amount of light such as tiny amounts of light coming through around the edges of blackout curtains can disrupt your sleep. This is also true for light entering your bedroom from under your bedroom door. So finding ways to block that light from entering your bedroom is super important, such as placing a rolled up towel at the base of the door and to fully block light from entering through your windows around blackout curtains.
I’ve been aware of light regulation inside my home and bedroom for a number of years and already incorporate a number of strategies such as blackout curtains, taping over leds lights such as from my home alarm panel and other electronics, but I’m far from perfect in my practice.
Dave says that even a few seconds of bright light exposure while brushing your teeth at night can disrupt your sleep quality that night.
Some of these things may sound extreme to many, but I believe it and am going to take more steps to ensure that the room I’m sleeping in at night is as dark as possible and that I reduce the bright and blue light I expose myself to after sunset.
It took me a few extra days to get to Day 3 in the challenge. The last few nights of sleep have been about the same as the first few nights I shared here in my sleep journal. I’m generally in bed for 2+ hours longer than I’m actually asleep with a lot of wakeups throughout the night.
I also haven’t been able to stay in bed with my wife and have migrated to the couch each evening. One problem with trying to sleep in the living room as it relates to light is that there is more ambient light from the rest of the house that I’m sleeping in.
In being honest with myself, one of the things that bothers me when sleeping in my own bed (and this wasn’t always the case) is that I usually go to bed after my wife and when I go to bed and she is already asleep, the sound of her breathing is an annoyance. It is not such a loud noise, but it seems I’ve become more sensitive to it in the last couple of years. I tried earplugs, but I don’t like the way they feel.
Tonight I’m going to make a more committed effort to limit my exposure to lights in the evening, sleep in my own bed and ensure my bedroom is as dark as possible.