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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions

51 Comments

  1. I get the thing with electric devices. But this one strikes me as odd:

    “For optimal melatonin levels, your room should be so black that you can’t see your hand in front of your face.”

    Have you ever slept outside in a forest ;), outside of a tent? Like really just under a tree… I have and I can tell you there is nothing dark about it :D. So why would it be optimal, if this condition doesn’t exist in nature? Maybe the melatonin levels are higher, but maybe that’s not even good if its THAT high?

    • Hmm, that’s an interesting point, I will have to think about that. The “completely black room rule” is what a couple of my teachers/mentors have told me and it’s also a part of the Lunaception routine. But you are right, there is moonlight in nature even when the moon is not full. I think the wavelengths may also come into play – artificial lights do not replicate moonlight. I will definitely look into this point!

      • Well I am sure that you won’t take damage from sleeping in a black room ;). It’s just the thing: I take you are a perfectionist (you said so) so you probably are fine with all those routines or maybe even need them. I on the other hand (at least in my daily life, not at work) am a total lazy lump of clay :P. I want as few routines to follow as possible. I always hated to eat vegeterian or even vegan. It’s too restricting and my body say “I don’t want this”. The same goes for pretty much anything else, like cleaning & stuff. I do the minimal that’s necessary.

        Having said that… How much do you think darkening your room (even if it would be healthier) will actually contribute to your overall health? Is it worth the time and attention (even if it just takes minutes or less)? So I guess this is more of a personality question. I firmly believe that this lighting detail between almost dark and completely dark is the least of our problems in a world where satellites are bombarding us with electromagnetic fields, Fukoshima is dumping several Tschernobyls worth of nuclear trash into the ocean, etc… 🙂

        • “I firmly believe that this lighting detail between almost dark and completely dark is the least of our problems in a world where satellites are bombarding us with electromagnetic fields, Fukoshima is dumping several Tschernobyls worth of nuclear trash into the ocean, etc” – LOL, agreed!

          I find that I sleep better in a pitch black room. It only takes me a minute to get my room ready at night and I like the routine. But I don’t think it is a negotiable health thing 🙂

          • i think a lot of your articles are informative and well written,unfortunately though,I think you have lost the plot on this one,you are definitely becoming obsessive,and forgetting that moderation is best for everything,if you are having bouts of sleep deprivation then have you thought of a more robust exercise therapy,…I am in my senior years now and have noticed that when i slow down on my exercise routines my sleep is affected ,and usually i only sleep for 5 hours anyway,but its uninterrupted and feel refreshed….hey different strokes for different folks,but in my opinion this is bordering on the ridiculous…sorry but nature never intended you to walk around looking like an offshore oil worker…..

        • Chris. You are right about the total blackout thing. It causes melatonin overdose. Let in as much natural light as you can, morning noon and night. Never block natural light. Block all artificial light but not natural. I tried the blackout thing and it made me terribly I’ll….way too much melatonin. Your nature analogy is perfect. Moonlight is reflected daylight…why block it? It doesn’t take a genius. The answer is to tweak the amount of blue light you get right after you get up to accommodate not-too-high melatonin production at night. And don’t forget that blue blocking glasses block some of all types of light….use them too much and you will suffer symptoms of melatonin overdose.

          Kev

          • You should also consider grounding, which is one of the benefits of camping. We need to reconnect with the earth and its resonance. No mention of the importance of morning sun into your eyes, which is the switch for your body to make D and melatonin. Super important and only need 30 seconds of it and sun onto your skin. Supplements just don’t do it for our D intake. Read Dr. jack Kruse for the whole shebang on how bad environmental mismatches are for our health and be aware that G5 is rolling out and that will show up as sudden symptoms for some of us.

        • Well I believe in looking after ones body as it’s the only one we have.You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to live a healthy lifestyle.Cutting out junk food is a major benefit.I know it’s easy and tasty but an alternative would be to grab precut veges or salad bags in the supermarket and add your protein.It’s definitely cheaper in the long wrong.

      • Well if you think about it wolves live in dens, bears live in caves birds put their head under their wing etc. Most mammals have shelter and move to the darkest area of that shelter. So I would say total dark is good. They naturally do this so why wouldn’t we. For the few that don’t maybe their body produces more melatonin.

    • Is it possible, as in the old days before electricity and especially technology with even more artificial light such
      as LED lighting, which has proven to cause hormonal imbalance, that the only light source which was natural daylight and night light made it possible to sleep well without any window coverage and to sleep fully underneath the moon and stars.Even when electricity was invented, the source was more to nature and not as bright, and it was still natural to go to bed when becoming dark and rising early or when becoming light., thus hormones were more in balance. Our eyes and bodies depended more on natural light and natural rythym of all things, a balance.I personally experience eye and vision and hormonal issues when using wireless, led iPod screens, but not as much with my surface and TV,which light and pixels are more evenly distributed and curved.I too try to stay off electronics 1-2 hers. before bed. Will try the shades Lauren recommended.

  2. Hi Lauren,

    I read the same article by Chris Kresser, and own the exact same glasses. Whenever my husband or my kids see me wearing them they say something like ” Are you going out to chop wood or something” ha ha. Oh the things we do for our health, and the ridicule we constantly endure. Thanks for your great blog!

    • Ha ha! Thankfully, my family ignores my health quirks now because they are use to it. But I’m moving into a dorm in a week and I don’t know what reactions I will receive from my dormmates about my crazy glasses! (However, it’s a naturopathic college, so hopefully people will be more on-board with this stuff.)

    • Well, count me one of the “health crazies” also. Been hearing this since I first became alarmed about anti-freeze chemical in ice cream in the 70’s. My new one is my tiny infrared lights that I insert into my nose and hold there for 20 min. It has made a huge difference in my hayfever. My adult son looked at me the other night, paused, and then said “Oh, yea, this is one of your health ideas.” He then went on about his business.

  3. I wear blackout eye shades to sleep each night. I also have thick shades but they are not blackout shades. I wonder if wearing the eye shades has the same effect as the black out window shades.

    • The eye shades are absolutely helpful, but it’s best if the room is dark. Although it may sound esoteric (I don’t know if it is accurate, but I’m open to the idea), some practitioners think that the body can sense light through other openings such as the ear and nose.

  4. I roll a large handkerchief and put it over my eyes like a blind fold. It keeps my eyelids shut too which feels quite comforting. In regards to light or sound for that matter, I understand the studies can be academically intense. Sleep well 🙂

  5. I’d just like to recommend an app for those with android devices, it’s called Twilight and it’s free. You can change the settings of how orangey/red it is and the brightness on your phone. I’ve been using f.lux for a couple years on my computer and recently wanted to find something similar for my phone so I could play games to help me sleep. It certainly makes a big difference in how quickly I get tired.

  6. Lauren I saw this post wind up on my feedly and am never a big commenter but felt the need to ask. I am a missionary, I just got back from 3 months in Mozambique and head back out the beginning of next year. While I was there I was wondering if it was OK for our melatonin levels if windows were left uncovered if there is little to no light pollution around where you sleep? It was constantly light due to the moon even when it was almost nonexistent… Should one just allow this light because it is natural or wear a sleep mask?

    • Yes, I purchased them recently. They’re great for helping with computer eye fatigue, but they don’t block out enough light from the top and sides of the glasses. I’m disappointed because I like how they look much more than the other orange glasses.

  7. Suggestions for amber/or angle glasses for us who wear glasses already? Also you can purchase blue light blocking screen protectors on amazon for your iPhone/ipad. The ipad ones are a bit $-$30 but something to try. I think the phone ones are just $10. I don’t want to jailbreak my device- knowing my luck it would never work again!

  8. I have been taking alot I mean alot of melatonin because I thought it would actually help me be able to actually sleep. I now realize it is not good for me. I have been tired all day, have had bad headaches, feel sick and depressed alot, and I still can’t sleep. What is the best thing I can do to get back to feeling normal now that I am not taking it?

    • I can tell you what works for me. It is supernatural. When I was at the computer before bedtime, or worked at my finances before bedtime, I was tired when I turned in (yawning a lot); however I could not fall asleep. Then I discovered a miracle. I would get up and read passages from the Bible–God’s Word–especially for me the Psalms (just about 15 minutes). Went to bed and woke up the next day. Don’t even remembering falling asleep. Now I read God’s Word before I turn in. Try it, what have you got to lose!

  9. I have to shake my head at this article. Sunlight governs sera- and melatonin. There’s such a jump in claiming that artificial light is automatically interpreted as sunlight by the body. What you keep describing is too flaky and is more commonly seen in psychological behavior, not physical science. I highly suggest reading this article about the argument of blue light. http://www.aao.org/publications/eyenet/201103/cataract.cfm

    It doesn’t feel like you’ve done proper research with peer-reviewed sources. Slapping on a disclaimer about not being FDA approved in your articles isn’t enough. If you’re going to blog with a sense of authority, please look at all the facts before expressing your claims as fact.

    • So your brain tells your body what to do, sending messages to your body and the body responds to these messages. Now if brain is convinced that blue light is sunlight, (brain being physical) then it will send messages to your body that it is day time. After a few times of this in your mind, ( mind, or thoughts being psychological) you might think you can’t go to sleep unless the tv is on, or you need to use another device before you can sleep. Phsycology and physical go hand in hand. When a woman gets physically ill during certain time of pregnancy it can cause their child to have schizophrenia. I learned about that in high school phsycology, not biology. I did not go to college nor am I a doctor. Feel free to pick my comment apart, other opinions is how we learn. If it make me use my brain to think then my mind expand helping to learn. Correct?

  10. I took melatonin-3 mg for 3 months (2-3 times each week) and my heart started beating fast. so I stopped taking them. It’s been 4-5 weeks since I stopped taking them and the condition doesn’t seem to improve. What can I do?

  11. I wear a black out mask at night (or even if the daytime if I should need to rest) and I do not get into the bed without it. I can tell a difference within 5 minutes of having it on. I use the Bucky Masks because they fit me better and really black out light. I just order them on Ebay or direct from Bucky. Not a salesperson for Bucky, but I have tried others and they were not as good of a fit and blacking out the light plus comfort. I really love this websight and thank you for your great information. Blessings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Hi Lauren!
    Excellent post! I do nearly everything on your list as well. One thing to add: I’ve recently switched from wearing orange glasses to using single-color amber (orange) LED lamps at night. I review a couple of them on my blog here: http://www.lighttherapyreviews.net/ambersleeplamps/

    In particular, http://lowbluelights.com and http://SomniLight.com both offer single color amber LED reading lights. Based on my research, single-color LEDs create a very narrow band of light (without any blue), obviating the need for orange glasses in most cases.

    Anyway, I find it easier!

    Cheers,
    Herb

  13. Nature knows best so we should trust her. Our society has ignored her wisdom and made our own light and time, I really believe that is why we have sleep issues. And I definitely agree, do not alter/”try and fix ” your body’s natural hormone rhythm, take time and figure out healthy alternatives to the problem. I am an insomniac and have tried melatonin, it did make me groggy and nausea the day after. I gave it a few tries to make sure I wasn’t just having an off day and I had the same reaction each time. Dark room, no tv an hour before bed, a warm, not hot shower an hour before bed time, a banana and a glass of water seem to help me. 👍🏼😊

  14. Hi Lauren .

    Great site – love the f.lux (just downloaded it) and hope it helps me. I tend to do work at night. I will have to abandon my photo editing at night, however! 🙂

    Anyhow – I was searching about melatonin supplements before using them when I found your site. I will give all this a try first. I don’t have trouble sleeping at all, I just have trouble winding down before sleeping. I am excited to try these suggestions. 🙂

    Thanks for the site and the hard work.
    Rebecca

  15. I read this blog post when it first came out and immediately downloaded the f.lux app to my laptop. It took some getting used to, but once my eyes adjusted, I pretty quickly found myself intolerant of not using it.

    Right now it’s 2pm, and the app is running at a dimmed level. If I turn it off, my eyes hurt badly. Ever since I started using this app, my overall tolerance of blue light has noticeably diminished, and now my eyes feel like they’re burning throughout the day.

    There are other factors to consider, but in my experience focusing on offsetting one problem by using tinted lenses and this app draws attention away from the possibility of creating more serious problems.

    So, be very careful here. But you’re an inspiration, Lauren. Natural eye care is something I’m throwing myself into heart and soul, and I look forward to sharing what I learn with you. Thank you!

  16. Hi Lauren,
    I’ve recently been confused about blackout shades in the bedroom. If I keep my shades open then I wake naturally to the sun, which I like. I understand that we benefit our sleep by having total darkness, but aren’t we still disrupting our sleep cycles by ignoring the earth cycles for waking up naturally?

  17. Hello everyone. I’m just getting started with Lauren and I must say what a brilliant mind and person. I’ve found it very easy to understand exactly where she’s coming from and is able and willing to follow. I just want to get away from all this made stuff and get back to nature and take my life back. Before all this modern day medicine, technology (which I’ve been tolerated for years) it was all natural, good and wholesome, it’s the world I grew up in, and now with Lauren I shall return. Thank you Lauren, you are and have truly been a blessing to my family as well as myself. We are on board. Slowly but surely you have addressed every one of my symptoms thus for and I am doing exactly as you suggest and it’s working. GOD BLESS YOU,

    • Audretta, your encouraging comment just made my day! It is my goal to provide accessible information and practical steps people can take for wellness. Hearing that I’ve supported you in that way means so much to me. I wish you blessings on your healing journey!

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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