How light might be stopping you sleep

A recently published article in the scientific journal Pharmacy and Therapeutics was titled ‘The Extraordinary Importance of Sleep’ – just in case any of us thought it was just something we do to kill time at night.

The article discusses the incredible increase in the pace of research into sleep and the consequences of not getting enough of it. While scientists continue their work to identify and clarify all of the functions of sleep, decades of studies have confirmed that sleep is necessary for our healthy functioning and even survival.

It is critical for our ability to think clearly, to be vigilant, to be alert, and to sustain attention. But sleep is also important for consolidation of memories, and most importantly, the regulation of emotions.

An even more recent Australian study looked at the impact of lighting in the home on our ability to get a good night’s sleep. The news wasn’t good.

The researchers found the average Australian home’s lighting was so bright it suppressed melatonin by nearly 50 per cent. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by a tiny gland situated in the brain. It plays an important role in the regulation of sleep cycles (also known as circadian rhythm). Its production is influenced by the detection of light and dark by the retina of the eye: melatonin secretion is inhibited when the retina detects light and is stimulated in the absence of light. In other words, melatonin sends a signal to the brain that it is time to get sleepy.

So, by exposing ourselves to such bright light, we are ‘tricking’ our brain and disturbing our circadian rhythm, which in turn disturbs our sleep. The other bad news is that the new energy-efficient LED lights are even brighter.

In fact, Associate Professor Cain, the lead scientist of the study said, “Light is a drug, a stimulant that is going to keep you from sleeping.”

So, what can we do about it?

Well, if we have dimmer switches – use them. Or maybe just reduce the number of lights that are turned on. But in homes where different people have different schedules or habits, that may not always be possible.

That’s where innovative sleep masks such as the Dreamlight range can help.

Dreamlight Ease and Ease Lite masks have been specifically developed to block out unwanted light and help you get a better night’s sleep.

The masks were created using 3D face-mapping technology, which ensures that cushioning around the face is distributed exactly where it’s needed most. Consequently, it blocks out 100 per cent of light, is likely to fit ‘just right’ and stay on all night long.

Dreamlight sleep masks are also make-up friendly, washable, and very portable, making them a great travel companion.

Unproductive? Here’s why – and what to do about it.

Research shows 80% of tired workers feel they are less productive. Similarly, Sleep Health Foundation reports 29% of all workplace errors are a direct result of sleeplessness. And for those who work with others; know that a lack of sleep leads to 52% of individuals feeling moody – a detriment to motivation, client relationships and teamwork collaboration efforts alike.

Needless to say, while you may think staying up late grants you a little extra time to ‘get it done’; it’s actually an impairment.

Not only on a subjective level, as above, but also – objectively too.

Evidence shows a lack of sleep produces deficits in concentration and decision equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of 0.05.

Before moving ahead any further – ask yourself – do you expect yourself to do your best work drunk?

Do you believe you can perform at your peak?

Do you truly feel you can deliver 100%?

If not – don’t expect yourself to do so when you’re sleep deprived – the effect upon the brain is the same.

So – whether you’re looking to boost productivity, avoid a lack of it or a little from both column – knowing how to get your best sleep is key.

And for that, I’ll share with you my signature bedtime routine – which has seen 100% of my private clients see improvements in their sleep in 7 days or less.

  1. Block out blue light: studies show blue light delays melatonin, the hormone to make you sleepy. Consequentially, you’re awake in the evening and tired in the morning.
  2. Diffuse lavender: clinical trials have found it can lessen anxiety by 45% – one of the main problems inhibiting sleep.
  3. Have a shower: it helps stimulate the release of melatonin, which enables you to fall asleep faster, research shows.
  4. Have a magnesium based sleep supplement: Magnesium helps the body and brain calm down – and has been found in academic studies to reduce symptoms of anxiety, such as an overactive mind and restlessness, by 31%.
  5. Listen to white noise: a recent study found white noise – for example, a fan or a dedicated white noise machine such as the Welcare Sleep-Tight Sleep Sound Machine – can reduce the time taken to fall asleep by 38%.
  6. Practice deep breathing and wear a sleep mask: deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system to help you feel calm, according to academic evidence. Wearing a sleep mask, like Dreamlight, helps block out light – which is necessary for morning alertness (see step 1!).


Olivia Arezzolo
Olivia Arezzolo is a Sleep Expert.
Her qualifications include: Bachelor of Social Science – Psychology; Cert Sleep Psychology; Diploma of Health Science – Nutritional Medicine; Cert 3+4 Fitness; giving her underpinnings of psychology, fitness and nutrition; which are then integrated into sleep.

Why you wake up at 3am

Why you wake at 3am

Waking up at 3am – it’s one of the most common problems facing our sleep deprived nation. In fact, since COVID19, research shows 41% report waking frequently through the night, and all up, problematic sleep has almost doubled – 25% to 46%.
And why 3am specifically? Well well… as a sleep expert with over 9 years of academics, it’s my pleasure to explain the evidence on this peculiar phenomenon – so you can know that
a) it’s completely reasonable and b) that there is a way out.

Why 3am specifically?

As dictated by your natural circadian rhythm, around 3am you have an elevation of cortisol – a hormone which helps you wake up the following morning. This process is completely normal and has happened all throughout your life. The reason you’re waking up now is because your baseline cortisol levels are too high.

Why is my cortisol too high?

  1. Lack of sleep. Clinical trials show that after just one night of insufficient sleep, your cortisol levels spike by 37%. As sleep is critical to regulate your hormones, including cortisol, it helps you understand why you often sleep worse after poor sleep the preceding night. Further – as cortisol makes you feel alert, it also explains why you often feel jumpy, tense and nervous after lack of sleep too.
  2. Stress. If there was one year that was stressful – 2020 was it. Research shows 78% of Aussies believe their mental health suffered due to COVID19, and specifically, 64% highlighted a rise in stress. When faced with stress, a natural reaction is to release cortisol into the body: it helps us feel more energetic so we can embrace – and overcome – whatever is challenging us. Problem is that during COVID19, there has been no definite end in sight – which leads us to have ongoing stress, and thus, chronically high cortisol.
  3. Light. You may have seen from our recent blog that blue light suppresses melatonin, the hormone to make you sleepy. Well – with respect to cortisol, evidence shows it does the opposite: blue light causes it to rise. Similarly, red light causes it to increase too. And while you may think a little light is reasonable – it’s not. Immediately upon exposure to any light, your cortisol levels rise. Consider: during the night you may look at your phone, use the bathroom, be exposed to street lights – all of which drive cortisol levels up.

And what can I do?

  1. To help you sleep longer and deeper, use my signature bedtime routine to help you fall and stay asleep easier – each night.
  2. With respect to stress, allow yourself the space to express it – healthily. Exercise, meditation, walking in nature, calling a friend – all are important and will help lessen your daily stress.
  3. To reduce light, use Dreamlight’s mask – it blocks out 100% of light. Because it’s designed using facial mapping technology, it fits perfectly on the face – so you wear it all night long.


Olivia Arezzolo
Olivia Arezzolo is a Sleep Expert.
Her qualifications include: Bachelor of Social Science – Psychology; Cert Sleep Psychology; Diploma of Health Science – Nutritional Medicine; Cert 3+4 Fitness; giving her underpinnings of psychology, fitness and nutrition; which are then integrated into sleep.

Feeling anxious? Your sleep may be the problem.

feeling anxious sleep

Have you noticed yourself particularly anxious, alert and unable to switch off since COVID19 – a finding reported by 50% of Aussies?
Has this subsequently meant you’re feeling unable to sleep that evening, and you’ve felt even more anxious the next day?
If so – this article is for you.
As a sleep expert with over 9 years of academics, I am here to let you know – this is completely normal.
First and foremost, as a direct result of inadequate sleep, clinical trials show stress hormone cortisol rises – by a significant 37%.
As a stimulating hormone, cortisol signals to the brain and body to be extra alert – exactly why you feel more anxious.
As you’re probably familiar, it’s a vicious cycle: less sleep leads to greater anxiety, which then leads to less sleep.
And if you are caught in this downwards spiral, rather than suffer endlessly, here are my top three anti-anxiety and pro-sleep tips for you – all backed by science

Reduce light exposure in the evening

Research shows light encourages the release of serotonin – an awakening hormone.
Similarly, the evidence also shows light suppresses melatonin – which otherwise induces sleepiness and relaxation.
Obviously in the evening, you want less to feel less awake and more relaxed – so subbing out bright lights for candles, switching off tech and closing the blinds are all recommended.
Further to that, during the night, a sleep eye mask like Dreamlight is a must-have: with facial mapping technology, the clever mask cushions your face where you need it most and blocks out 100% of light.
And remember – that helps you sleep better, and feel less anxious the next day.

Eat magnesium rich foods

Clinical trials show magnesium can reduce anxiety by 31% – which as you now know, can also mean you’ll sleep easier too.
As a nutrient to calm the nervous system, magnesium can support muscle and mind relaxation – exactly why it is recommended for sleep, post workout recovery and for stress alike.
Top sources of magnesium? Fatty fish like salmon and tuna, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, bananas and avocado.

Drink chamomile tea

Activating the parasympathetic nervous system, evidence shows chamomile contains a compound called apigenoin.
As a mild sedative, this helps you feel more relaxed, and can ease mental tension.
Particularly if you’re wound up throughout the day, swapping out caffeine for chamomile is ideal: caffeine will enhance feelings of stress, whereas chamomile can reduce it.

Now, take a deep breath and sleep well tonight.



Olivia Arezzolo
Olivia Arezzolo is a Sleep Expert.
Her qualifications include: Bachelor of Social Science – Psychology; Cert Sleep Psychology; Diploma of Health Science – Nutritional Medicine; Cert 3+4 Fitness; giving her underpinnings of psychology, fitness and nutrition; which are then integrated into sleep.

Your best bedtime routine – according to Australia’s leading sleep expert

Bedtime routines – critical to getting your best nights sleep. You’ve probably noticed when you have enough time to unwind pre-bed, you fall asleep easier and sleep deeper. Conversely, if you’re out for dinner, perhaps enjoying a wine or two, under bright lights and around loud music, you come home and you’re still buzzing for hours – and sleep terribly. Right?!.

If that sounds familiar, this article is for you. As a sleep expert with over 9 years of academics, I’m going to share my Signature Bedtime Routine – something that has seen 100% of my private clients see improvements in their sleep in less than 7 days.

Before I do though, know that it’s imperative to do all the steps each night to see the results you want: falling asleep easier, staying asleep through the night and waking up refreshed. But also know that the steps are quick and easy to follow – so you spend less time doing them and more time doing what I want you to do: sleep.

Olivia’s Signature Bedtime Routine:

  1. Block out light: as you may recall from our recent blog, light is one of the biggest factors to limit sleep: it inhibits melatonin, the hormone to help you fall and stay asleep. Even just one hour of exposure to light before bed lowers the sleepiness hormone by 23%! Using minimal light and wearing blue light glasses are helpful tools here.
  2. Diffuse lavender: especially if you’re anxious, clinical trials show lavender can reduce anxiety by 45% – which may otherwise keep you awake.
  3. Have a ‘Goodnight Phone Alarm’: trigger yourself to get off your phone with an alarm labelled “sleep better” – this also acts as a psychological cue, reminding you of your sleep goals.
  4. Have a shower: as melatonin is produced when you have a cool core body temperature, emerging from your shower to the bathroom – encourages the body to do exactly this – as noted in academic research. This helps you fall and stay asleep
  5. Have a sleep supplement. As a natural relaxant, magnesium is one of the best ingredients you can have in your sleep supplement – and it’s been found in academic studies to reduce anxiety by 31%.
  6. Listen to white noise: helping synchronise your brain into a slower pattern, a recent study found white noise such as a fan can reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep by 38%.
  7. Practice deep breathing: Once you’re ready to close your eyes, pop on an eye mask, like the Dreamlight or Dreamlight Ease, and practice deep breathing – evidence shows this activates the parasympathetic nervous system to help you feel calm.


Olivia Arezzolo
Olivia Arezzolo is a Sleep Expert.
Her qualifications include: Bachelor of Social Science – Psychology; Cert Sleep Psychology; Diploma of Health Science – Nutritional Medicine; Cert 3+4 Fitness; giving her underpinnings of psychology, fitness and nutrition; which are then integrated into sleep.

How to get 8 hours sleep in 4 hours- according to Australia’s leading sleep expert

8 hrs sleep in 4 hrs

Getting 8 hours of sleep in 4 – sounds like a dream come true right?
Right.
And although this sounds like a fantasy; it’s actually not.
See, what makes you feel fresh in the morning – and gives you that “I just slept for 8 hours feeling” – isn’t about how many hours you sleep.
Actually – it’s about how deeply you’ve slept.
Ideally – you will sleep for 7-9 hours each night.
But, to be honest, is that really going to happen every night?
Probably not. So for when it doesn’t – here’s my top 3 tips to get the sleep you know, love and need to function properly the next day.

Step 1. Diffuse lavender throughout the evening

Activating the parasympathetic nervous system, research shows lavender can slow brainwaves – from a busy alpha / beta pattern (when you feel alert), to a dreamy theta pattern (when you feel  dozy).
Consequentially – this can help you unwind easier in the evening and fall into deeper sleep faster.
For best results, have the aroma wafting through your sleep sanctuary long before you jump into bed: it will encourage you to switch off easier.
Avenues of entry – e.g. oral, applying to the skin or diffusing onto a pillow spray – matter less than the fact you simply do it. So whatever works best for you, do that.

Step 2. Make meditation part of your nightly bedtime routine

Evidence shows long term meditators spend twice as long in deep sleep than those who don’t meditate. Twice. As. Long.
As a reminder, this isn’t about your evening – this is about the next day.
For your mind – deep sleep boosts mental clarity, as it helps remove beta-amyloid, a neurotoxin to otherwise contribute to memory loss;
For your mood – deep sleep lowers the stress hormone cortisol, which can make you feel anxious.
And for your body – deep sleep encourages the release of human growth hormone, helping restore physiological energy.
Needless to say – deep sleep is critical; and meditation partnered with my other two top tips here, will help you get more of it.

Step 3. Wear an eye mask when you sleep

Clinical trials show light decreases the time you spend in deep sleep.
And although your eyelids may be closed, realise there is ambient light all around you – a partner watching TV, exterior lights, even the digits on your alarm clock.
It only takes a peep of light to creep in to impede upon deep sleep; so, wearing an eye mask is a must.
And on that note – Dreamlight Sleep Eye Masks are ideal: they block 100% of light.
Designed using facial mapping technology, the mask cushions your face where you need it most.
As a result, you leave it on all night long, and at the same time, keep deep sleep inhibiting light out.



Olivia Arezzolo
Olivia Arezzolo is a Sleep Expert.
Her qualifications include: Bachelor of Social Science – Psychology; Cert Sleep Psychology; Diploma of Health Science – Nutritional Medicine; Cert 3+4 Fitness; giving her underpinnings of psychology, fitness and nutrition; which are then integrated into sleep.

The Number 1 Reason You Can’t Sleep at Night – Light

As a sleep expert with over 9 years of academics, it’s my pleasure to share the number one reason you are struggling to sleep properly: light.

Signalling to our brains to be alert, light encourages the production of stimulating hormones serotonin; and suppresses the release of sleepiness hormone melatonin.

As a result, directly due to light exposure, you feel awake – even if it’s 11pm in the evening.

Until the introduction of artificial light, this wasn’t a problem – nighttime naturally meant that it was dark, which allowed us to sleep normally.

However, since the advent of artificial light, made worse by handheld devices such as phones and e-readers, we are constantly exposed to light – making it more and more difficult for us to sleep.

How detrimental is it, you might wonder?

Proof is in the pudding – the scientific pudding.

Study 1: Researchers found late night mobile phone usage doubles the likelihood of experiencing poor sleep. Further, for those users, 63% get tired the next day, and 40% report headaches.

Study 2: a team from Harvard Medical School comparing e-readers vs paper books users found e-readers are more likely to have a lower sleep quality, and be tired the next morning. Academics specified: ‘people should minimise light exposure in the evening’.

Study 3: Investigating the impact of just 5 minutes of light exposure through the evening – e.g. a bathroom visit from your partner, a clinical study found this delays melatonin release by a staggering 2.3 hours. This leads to the inability to sleep through the night, and greater morning fatigue.

1-2-3.

The academics have spoken.

Needless to say – blocking out light is critical to getting your best night’s sleep.

A tried and tested way to do so?

A mask.

But rather than any mask – reach for a Dreamlight sleep eye mask.

Designed using facial mapping technology, the Dreamlight Mask technicians have curated ‘the perfect fit’. Cushioning your face where you need it most, the mask feels comfortable all night, meaning you keep it on – and keep the light out.

The Result?

Staying asleep easier through the night and waking up more refreshed.

Dreamy – right?



Olivia Arezzolo
Olivia Arezzolo is a Sleep Expert.
Her qualifications include: Bachelor of Social Science – Psychology; Cert Sleep Psychology; Diploma of Health Science – Nutritional Medicine; Cert 3+4 Fitness; giving her underpinnings of psychology, fitness and nutrition; which are then integrated into sleep.

Review: Ease Lite – World’s best light blocking compact eye mask

Ease Lite is an eye mask that offers 100% light blockage and comfortable design. It is comfortable and designed to be a perfect fit. I had trouble finding an advanced eye mask that was not bulky. I saw the Ease Lite and didn’t know what to think until I was lucky to try it out. The Ease Lite eye mask is portable and light blocking, perfect for on the go or at home in bed.

Who Should You Use This Sleep Mask

Anyone that could use a better night’s sleep. Not only does it fully block the light, but it is comfy. It was designed so that it can be worn for hours without being irritating.
Many people know that darkness equals good sleep. Good sleep improves all aspects of life. Sleep does not always happen at home, though.
I got the Ease Lite because of traveling mostly. It’s hard to fall asleep on a plane or at a hotel, but not with Ease Lite.

Key Features of Dreamlight Ease Light

It has great specs:

  • Makeup friendly
  • Washable
  • Light
  • 3D hollow design

Impressions

I knew it was great right away. As soon as I tried it on, it was confirmed. I originally wanted it mostly for travel. However, now I use it to fall asleep at home regularly.
I learned that pairing it with white noise in the background or even silence makes for the perfect sleep conditions. The Ease Lite eye mask is a great sleep and relaxation aid.
It is well worth the money. I give it a 5/5 because of the great value and relaxation it offers.

Written by Mark Greene
Mark Greene is a writer and life coach dedicated to helping men to perform at peak level. He shares dating advice, style tips, and strategies for building wealth and success.

Dreamlight Ease Pressure-Free Mask Review

Block out the light and experience true comfort and bliss pressure-free. It doesn’t affect makeup and feels exceptionally light on the face. I am light sensitive. Most eye masks either apply pressure or are uncomfortable. When I saw the Dreamlight Ease and heard it did not, I had to try it. The Dreamlight Ease is a light-blocking eye mask that is water-friendly and feels light.

Who should use the Dreamlight Ease?

Anyone that is light sensitive or has trouble sleeping could appreciate it. For some, the light can keep them up at night. Blocking it out can take care of that problem for some.

Using 3D facial mapping technology, they have made a mask to fit anyone’s eyes. They block the light 100% making them some of the best eye masks available.

I have found that it’s useful for relaxing at home or trying to get sleep on planes or even in bed. It’s great for sleeping because it creates total darkness.

Key Features

Dreamlight Ease has a lot going for it.

  • Washable
  • 68 grams (light)
  • Gentle on skin

Impressions

I knew it would be effective, but not this effective. It truly is 100% light blocking. I did not know that eye masks could be that way until I tried the Dreamlight Ease.

Time after time, I block the light out totally. It is perfect for sleeping on trains or planes. I give it a 4/5 for being such convenience and joy.

Written by Mark Greene

Mark Greene is writer and life coach dedicated to helping men to perform at peak level. He shares dating advice, style tips, and strategies for building wealth and success.

How a good night’s sleep can increase productivity in the workplace

When you’re working extremely long hours and are unable to get enough sleep, this can directly impact your productivity at work. Having a good night sleep is essential for the body to function fully. If we look at the strenuous cycle that many people between the ages of 18 – 34 go through they usually only get between 5 – 6 hours sleep a night, lacking in a lot of rest. “According to a 2018 study of more than 10,000 people, the body’s ability to function declines if sleep isn’t in the seven- to eight-hour range.” 1

We’ve all had those days where we feel as though we haven’t had a good night sleep, in most circumstances we probably didn’t, which significantly reduces our energy levels and in-turn reduces our focus. Sleep is a much needed ingredient among humans and without it, we resort to more unwarranted characteristics such as moodiness, irritation, and frustration. Especially for industry professionals like doctors and nurses.

We are seeing a terrible outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to more and more people losing precious hours of sleep, rendering the conclusion that they’ve not had a good night. For which, they will be underperforming at work, perhaps even being accidentally negligent causing serious injury to people. We must not give in to the nasty feeling of exhaustion. This is why it is imperative, to have a good night, we must find ways to assist our brains in feeling comfort and ease when falling asleep.

Going the extra mile for that good night of rest

Naturally, our minds often wander before going to sleep, some people think of work, while others think of more calming thoughts. Between the two which would ensure a good night of rest? I’d say the latter, but how do we switch our minds off from the things which are bothering us to calm ourselves into a more relaxed state?

Mounting evidence suggests that a good night’s sleep seriously boosts productivity. One study of 4,188 U.S. workers found “significantly worse productivity, performance, and safety outcomes” among those who slept less, and estimated a $1,967 loss in productivity per worker due to poor sleep.2

You must learn to discipline yourself more closely to ensure that your mind is fully distracted before you go to sleep. If you want a good night then scrolling through social media into the dead of the night is just another form of distraction, which will lead you to have low productivity at work. We usually suggest not looking at your phone before sleeping, try not to drink alcohol, and cut carbs before going to bed. This will significantly increase your chances of having a good night and also a more productive day the following morning.

Conclusion for having a good night

As you may have realized, after reading this article, is that a good night sleep is fundamentally important to have a more productive work-cycle, we cannot function properly without our sleep. This is why finding ways to greatly improve your sleeping pattern is imperative, not only to your work but also to your health. We must all have a stronger sense of what aids us when getting a good night sleep

1. ( https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/41/12/zsy182/5096067)
2. Kemmis, S., 2019. The Science Of Sleep And Productivity. [online] Zapier. Available at: <https://zapier.com/blog/sleep-and-productivity/> [Accessed 7 July 2020].

Written by Dreamlight HQ