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Lack of Sleep is Killing Us

October 23, 2017

Lack of Sleep is Killing Us

Sleep is important. We know that. But recent research has shown that it may be even more important than we thought, and more startlingly, that poor sleep habits could be dangerous.

Sleep expert Matthew Walker, the Director for the Center for Human Sleep at UC Berkeley, says “No aspect of our biology is left unscathed by sleep deprivation.” His research has suggested that poor sleep increases our risks of dementia, obesity, depression, and even cancer. An adult who sleeps less than six hours per night is 200% more likely to have a stroke or a heart attack. That’s pretty scary, considering that Walker estimates almost 70% of adults in the USA don’t get enough sleep. He believes that our poor sleep habits are so prevalent and the implications so severe that he calls the situation a “catastrophic sleep loss epidemic.”

How in the world do we make sure that we are taking care of ourselves besides just logging more time in bed? It all starts with practicing good sleep hygiene habits.

It’s important to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, if at all possible. The circadian rhythm is called a rhythm for a reason. If we vary our sleep by pulling an all nighter during the week or sleeping in on the weekends it literally knocks your circadian rhythm “off beat.” Establishing a solid sleep routine will help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly while you are off in dream land. Taking advantage of the circadian rhythm can be taken to the next level by syncing your sleep routine to the sun cycle. The way our lives run in the 21st century, it’s routine that we stay up late at night spending time on work or with family, and then take advantage of the extra z’s in the morning. This routine leaves us awake after sunset and asleep after sunrise. That’s the exact opposite of “early to bed and early to rise,” people!

This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that we just don’t operate in a world where our sleep switch is solar powered. Our day and night are no longer controlled by the sun and moon, but rather by the artificial lighting and digital devices we use. “... we electrified the night,” says Walker. “Light is a profound degrader of sleep.” This is because melatonin, the hormone used to induce sleep in the body, is triggered by the absence of high energy light. Normally high energy light would come from the sun, and its absence would come from the night. Unfortunately for all of us trying to get a good night’s sleep, modern artificial lighting and any digital device with a screen (sorry about your luck phones, tablets, computers, TVs…) all generate light in the range of 400-480nm, aka “blue” light. This light signals to our brains that it is daytime and that it’s time to be awake. Walker predicts that “Those who are focused on so-called ‘clean’ sleep are determined to outlaw mobiles and computers from the bedroom… we will then start to develop methods by which we can amplify different components of human sleep, and do that from the bedside. Sleep will come to be seen as a preventive medicine.”

Are there any of these bedside methods already in play? At PupilBox we know all too well the late night work session. We’re entrepreneurs who are often looking at our computer screens late into the night, and the effects of poor sleep are very apparent. That’s why we worked to develop a lens specifically designed for sleep, to block out the blue light that signals to your brain to stay awake. This allows your brain to produce melatonin and wind down for sleep naturally. In addition, we developed the PupilBulb; low-blue light bulb for your bedside. The PupilBulb simulates the sunset in your bedroom to trigger your brain that it's time to start producing melatonin. Customers can purchase the PupilBulb as part of a Complete PupilBox or purchase the bulb separately.

Using our Sleep Lens or the PupilBulb together are a great practice to control the light you consume and helping you to take charge of your circadian rhythm.





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Pupilbox Lens Protection Levels

Casually Connected

400-420nm

Adults looking at a screen less than 8 hours per day

Digitally Addicted

400-450nm

Adults and children concerned about eye health

Sleep

400-484nm

Block Blue Light at night to sleep