Saturday, September 16, 2017

The IMPORTANCE OF...OMEGA-3 in your diet!

The Importance of Omega-3 Testing

  • September 16, 2017 
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By Dr. Mercola

Mounting research drives home the importance of animal-based omega-3 fats for heart health. After reviewing this topic carefully, I am convinced that maintaining a healthy level of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may be one of the most important food priorities.
DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are long-chained omega-3 fats (22 and 20 carbons respectively) found in fatty fish like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies.  Indeed, along with vitamin D, I believe measuring your omega-3 level is a truly vital health test that should be done on an annual basis.
Like vitamin D, being deficient in omega-3 will leave you vulnerable to all sorts of chronic disease. Optimizing your omega-3 is a truly foundational component of good health. Unfortunately, many still do not even realize such a test exists. It does, but first, let's review why animal-based omega-3 fats are so important for health in the first place.
Plant- Versus Marine-Based Omega-3
Omega-3 fats can be obtained from both marine animal and plant sources, but they are not interchangeable. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an 18-carbon omega-3 fat found in plants like flax and chia seed does readily convert to DHA. Typically, just 1 to 3 percent of ALA is converted to DHA, which is nowhere near the amount you need for brain and heart health. Some studies have found the conversion rate to be as 0.1 to 0.5 percent.1
And, while plant-based omega-3 fats are important for health, the animal-based DHA is the one most strongly associated with heart health and other important health benefits. EPA and DHA are both considered "essential" fats as your body cannot make them, and hence you must get them from your diet. Omega-3 ALA on the other hand is quite ubiquitous in the diet and therefore there is no real need to supplement.
DHA and EPA Protect Your Heart Health
Research suggests eating fatty fish and other omega-3 rich foods may lower your risk of a fatal heart attack by 10 percent.2,3,4 Taken after a heart attack, omega-3 fats can also significantly improve your odds of survival. In one large trial, heart attack survivors who took 1 gram of omega-3 fat every day for three years had a 50 percent reduced chance of sudden cardiac death.5
Exercise is not enough to protect your heart. You also need to be mindful of your omega-3 level. Animal-based omega-3 fats, especially DHA, protect and support your cardiovascular health by:
  • Lowering blood pressure and counteracting or preventing cardiac arrhythmia
  • Improving endothelial function (which helps promote growth of new blood vessels)
  • Lowering triglyceride concentrations and preventing fatty deposits and fibrosis of the inner layer of your arteries
  • Helping prevent thrombosis (a blood clot within a blood vessel)
  • Counteracting inflammation
DHA and EPA are also important for digestion, muscle activity, blood clotting, visual acuity, memory and learning, basic cell division, function of cell receptors and more. Importantly, animal-based DHA and EPA:
  • Are structural elements, not just a source of energy. DHA is particularly vital, as it is a component of every cell in your body. There are specific transporters for long-chained omega-3s in your blood-brain barrier, the placenta (in pregnant women) and likely also in your liver, which transport these molecules in a very precise way into the cell membranes where they belong
  • Regulate communication within the cell and between cells
  • Play a role in helping your body properly utilize sunlight
  • Have a profoundly important influence on mitochondrial health
Get Tested Today
In terms of how much omega-3 fat you need, the best way to determine your required dose is to measure your omega-3 level with an omega-3 index test. This test has consistently been found to provide the most accurate measurement of the omega-3 level in your body. Ideally, your index should be above 8 percent. If you're below 8 percent, increase your omega-3 intake and retest until you find the dosage that allows you to reach and maintain an ideal level. Ideally, you'll want to wait three to six months between each test.
Rather than depending on recommended dosages, getting your level tested is really the only way to ensure sufficiency, because requirements for omega-3 will vary depending on your lifestyle; your intake of fatty fish, for example, and your level of physical activity. Athletes tend to burn off their omega-3 quite rapidly, as the DHA gets burned as fuel rather than being used as a structural component of their cell membranes. Hence, they will need higher dosages.
GrassrootsHealth has created a convenient and cost-effective combination test kit that measures both your vitamin D and omega-3 index. This third-party test kit is part of its consumer-sponsored research project. By gathering information on the population's vitamin D and omega-3 levels, we will better understand how these nutrients impact health. The data (which will not include any identifying personal information) will also allow researchers to study the links between these two nutrients.
Ideal Omega-3 Sources
Seafood is your best source of long-chained omega-3 fats. However, it's important to realize that all fish do not contain these fats. Tilapia, for example, contains no EPA or DHA. The fish needs to be harvested from cold water, as this is what triggers the production of omega-3 fats in the fish. Some of your best options for clean fats are wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies.
An excellent alternative, if you do not want to eat fatty fish, is to take a krill oil supplement. I firmly believe krill oil is superior to fish oil. Although both contain EPA and DHA,  krill oil is bound to phospholipids, which allows the EPA and DHA to travel more efficiently through your bloodstream. Hence, it's more bioavailable. This means you need far less of it than fish oil, as confirmed by a 2011 study published in the journal Lipids.6
Researchers gave subjects less than 63 percent as much krill-based EPA/DHA as the fish oil group, yet both groups showed equivalent blood levels, meaning the krill was more potent. Phospholipids are also a principal compound in high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which you want more of, and by allowing your cells to maintain structural integrity, phospholipids help your cells function properly.
Meanwhile, fish oil is bound to triglycerides and methyl esters, which must be broken down in your gut to its base fatty acids of DHA and EPA. About 80 to 85 percent is simply eliminated in your intestine. Krill oil also contains natural astaxanthin, which prevents rancidity of these highly perishable oils. Regular fish oil does not contain this antioxidant, and is therefore far more prone 
Algae — A Vegan Source of DHA
Not surprisingly, vegans will typically have half the omega-3 level of people who allow themselves some marine fats,7 and this can have serious health implications. If you're die-hard vegan and refuse to eat seafood, algal oil, made from algae, is a vegan-friendly option.
Most recently, a 2014 scientific review8 concluded algal oil can be an effective alternative source of DHA for vegetarians and vegans, noting that many studies have found ALA from nut and seed oils are not converted to DHA at all, and therefore cannot be relied on. An earlier study, published in 2008, found that algal oil and oil from salmon appeared to be bioequivalent: 9
"We compared the nutritional availability of … DHA from algal-oil capsules to that from assayed cooked salmon in 32 healthy men and women, ages 20 to 65 years, in a randomized, open-label, parallel-group study. In this two-week study comparing 600 mg DHA/day from algal-oil capsules to that from assayed portions of cooked salmon, mean change from baseline in plasma phospholipids and erythrocyte DHA levels was analyzed and DHA levels were compared …
DHA levels increased by approximately 80 percent in plasma phospholipids and by approximately 25 percent in erythrocytes in both groups. Changes in DHA levels in plasma phospholipids and erythrocytes were similar between groups …
These results indicate that algal-oil DHA capsules and cooked salmon appear to be bioequivalent in providing DHA to plasma and red blood cells and, accordingly, that algal-oil DHA capsules represent a safe and convenient source of non-fish-derived DHA."
Omega-3 Requirements Increase During Pregnancy
There is no set recommended standard dose of omega-3 fats, but some health organizations recommend a daily dose of 250 to 500 mg of EPA and DHA for healthy adults. If you're pregnant or breast-feeding, your body will likely require additional omega-3. I know from experience that eating a can of sardines and salmon roe for a few months put my omega-3 Index at 10, which is very healthy.
The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada recommend pregnant and lactating women (along with all adults) consume at least 500 mg of omega-3s, including EPA and DHA, daily. The European Commission recommends pregnant and lactating women consume a minimum of 200 mg of DHA, in particular, per day.10 Again, if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy, now is the time to get your level checked to make sure you're not deficient.
More than 90 percent of the omega-3 fat found in brain tissue is DHA, making it very important for your child's brain development. Studies have shown omega-3 fats lowers the risk for learning disorders, behavioral disorders,11,12,13 ADHD,14 autism and dyslexia.15Omega-3s are also needed for proper eye development,16 and for the prevention of premature delivery. Low levels of DHA may increase the risk for a reduction in cognitive processing speed and poor eye hand coordination by age four.17
Other Health Benefits of Animal-Based Omega-3
Aside from heart and brain health, omega-3 fats are also important for:
Healthy, strong bones, reducing your risk of osteoporosis18
Mood regulation
Reducing your risk of Parkinson's disease
Reducing your risk of death from ALL causes
Lowering your risk for lupus19
Reducing your risk of kidney disease20
Reducing your risk of Alzheimer's disease
Delaying progression to psychosis among patients at high risk for schizophrenia
Protecting against osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis(RA)21,22,23
Protecting against metabolic syndrome,24 including obesity, fatty liver,25 insulin resistance26 and Type 2 diabetes
Improving in premenstrual syndrome (PMS), dysmenorrhea27 and reducing menstrual pain28,29
Lowering your risk for neurological/cognitive dysfunction, including memory loss and brain aging
Reducing your risk of Crohn's disease
Reducing your risk of colon cancer.30 Colon cancer patients who consumed a minimum of 0.3 grams of omega-3 from fish each day also reduced their risk of dying over the next decade by 41 percent31
Building healthy muscle mass, including people suffering from cancer who may experience cachexia.32
In one study involving patients with advanced malignancy, those taking fish oil were able to gain weight. The length of time patients took the supplement was also a factor; the longer they took it, the better the results
Reducing your risk of autoimmune disorders such as lupus and nephropathy
Setting the Record Straight on Plant- and Marine-Based Omega-3s
To recap, it's important to realize that you cannot trade animal-based omega-3 for plant-based omega-3. Even if you take large amounts of plant-based omega-3 it simply will not provide you with the raw materials you need for a healthy body and brain. It doesn't work because your body cannot convert enough ALA into DHA and EPA.
So, if you're vegan, you simply must figure out a way to compensate for the lack of marine animal fats in your diet. Keep in mind that while studies suggest algae appears to be an effective alternative, the only way to verify this is to get your omega-3 level tested. Pregnant women are also urged to test their vitamin D and omega-3, as these two nutrients are vital for healthy fetal development and can rather dramatically reduce your risk of pregnancy and delivery complications.
I firmly believe an omega-3 index test is one of the most important annual health screens that everyone needs. Please note I make no revenue from these tests. I merely supply them as a convenience for my readers. It' the same price whether you buy it from me or directly from GrassrootsHealth.33








The Revision Revised: A Refutation of Westcott and Hort's False Greek Text and Theory Paperback – Feb 4 2008


Eat less, move more. That’s been the mantra of the weight loss movement for decades.  But as those who have fought the battle of the bulge will tell you, there’s a lot more to obesity than just too much junk food or too little willpower. Even when genes are taken into account, scientists have struggled to explain why one person can eat cake and stay skinny, while another munches on carrots and can’t shed a pound.
Now, exciting new research reveals there is a missing piece to the obesity puzzle, one that is highly complex and intensely personal: gut microbes.
Inside our intestines, there’s an entire ecosystem – our own “inner rainforest” -  made up of microorganisms so small that millions could fit into the eye of a needle. But these tiny bugs that live in our gut are proving key to human health and the obesity epidemic.
microbesCould microbes be the missing key to weight loss?
Some of these bacteria are nasty pathogens that lead to diseases. As a result, conventional wisdom has given all bacteria a bad rap – until recently, when researchers began proving what one science writer calls a  “subversive” idea: bacteria are actually our biggest allies. By targeting them as the enemy, we’ve damaged our bodies’ own biological systems, including weight control. 
Microbes help us digest food, harvest calories, provide us with energy, produce crucial vitamins, regulate appetite, protect our immune system and fend off the bad guys. But because of our modern lifestyle, including a highly processed Western diet and overuse of antibiotics, some of the species of bacteria that once lived in our gut are on the verge of extinction.
Our microbes need to eat, but we’re starving them by failing to nourish them with the proper foods. The result? Unhealthy guts, and an obesity rate that has skyrocketed.
Time  SpectorTim Spector cooking for his family
According to geneticist Tim Spector, author of the new book “The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat”, the most important diet myth is that, “like identical lab rats”, we all respond to food and consume calories the same way. 
But just like a fingerprint, each person’s microbiome is unique, and so is the way diet impacts our weight and our health. So the diet that works for a British scientist may be radically different from a hunter-gatherer in Tanzania, or even the person living next door.
In It Takes Guts we’ll explore the links between microbes, diet and weight. We’ll discover surprising new information about the food we eat, and the food our microbes love to munch on. And we’ll meet the researchers who are applying what they’ve learned in the lab to their everyday lives, and experimenting on themselves, including:
With the help of colourful graphic animations, we’ll learn how we’ve damaged our microbiomes, and discover ways to restore our “inner rainforest”. As one researcher notes, “You never eat alone. Because whatever food you put in you're feeding trillions of your microbes.”
In the battle of the bulge, should we learn to trust our gut?
Directed by Leora Eisen and executive produced by Gordon Henderson at 90th Parallel Productions in association with CBC.





Sunday, September 10, 2017


The Steep Cost of Sleep Deprivation
  • By Dr. Mercola

Sleep deprivation has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress or illness, which helps explain why lack of sleep has been shown to raise your risk of numerous chronic diseases. Sleep is also intricately tied to important hormone levels, including melatonin — an antioxidant with powerful anticancer activity — which is diminished by lack of sleep, and to brain detoxification and rejuvenation, which only occur during deep sleep.
Cutting just one hour of sleep a night increases the expression of genes associated with inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer risk and stress.1 A single night of poor sleep has also been shown to impair your physical movements and mental focus to a degree comparable to having a blood alcohol level of 0.10 percent.2 In other words, lack of sleep can result in a level of impairment on par with someone who’s drunk.
Sleeping well is also important for maintaining emotional balance. Fatigue compromises your brain’s ability to regulate emotions, making you more prone to crankiness, anxiety and unwarranted emotional outbursts.3 Small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep and, thereby, better health.
One of the worst things you can do is to reach for a sleeping pill. Research shows these drugs do not work and can have serious side effects. One analysis found that popular sleeping pills reduced the average time it takes to fall asleep by a mere 13 minutes compared to placebo, while increasing total sleep time by 11 minutes. Such results are typical.
Meanwhile, research,5 shows people who take sleeping pills have a 35 percent higher risk for certain cancers and are nearly four times as likely to die from any cause as nonusers. These are significant risks for mere minutes of additional sleep.
What Science Tells Us About the Ramifications of Sleep Deprivation
According to an analysis6 of available research by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, the weight of the evidence suggests adults need somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health, with the Goldilocks’ Zone being right around eight hours.
They also determined that consistently sleeping less than six hours a night increases your risk for a wide range of psychological and physical effects. In addition to exacerbating any chronic ailment you may already have, poor sleep or lack of sleep also directly contributes to: 7
Increased risk of car accidents. In 2013, drowsy drivers caused 72,000 car accidents in which 800 Americans were killed; 44,000 were injured8
Increased risk of cardiovascular disease. African-American have a higher risk of heart disease than Caucasians and as much as 50 percent of this racial difference has been linked to blacks getting less sleep9
Premature birth; sleep deprived mothers have double the risk of delivering more than six weeks early than mothers who sleep well10
Reduced ability to learn or remember and lowered academic performance. Even infants have improved recall after napping, suggesting sleep plays a role in solidifying memories11
Reduced ability to perform tasks and reduced productivity. According to recent research, workers sleeping less than six hours per night costs the U.S. $411 billion annually in lost productivity12
Reduced creativity at work or in other activities
Increased risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes
Increased susceptibility to stomach ulcers
Increased risk of cancer
Increased risk of high blood pressure
Increased risk of osteoporosis
Increased accidents at work
Reduced athletic performance
Premature aging by interfering with growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep
Increased risk of depression and anxiety.13 In one trial, 87 percent of depressed patients who resolved their insomnia had major improvements to their depression, with symptoms disappearing after eight weeks
Decreased immune function
Increased risk of dying from any cause
Lack of Sleep Raises Your Risk of Obesity
A number of studies have demonstrated that lack of sleep can play a significant role in obesity, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes — all of which are at epidemic levels not only in the U.S. but around the world. The link between sleep deprivation and weight gain is explained by the fact that sleep affects hunger-related hormones. Studies show poor sleep increases ghrelin, which results in increased hunger, while simultaneously inhibiting leptin, the hormone that signals your brain when you’re “full.”
This combination results in increased hunger and food cravings, especially for carbohydrates. According to one recent study,15,16,17getting one extra hour of sleep per night may reduce your waist size by one-third of an inch. Compared to people who averaged just under six hours of sleep per night, those who slept an average of 8.45 hours per night (plus or minus 40 minutes) were roughly 7 pounds lighter on average, and had a waist circumference averaging 1.6 inches smaller.
Another study published in the International Journal of Obesity18 found that infants who sleep less eat more, which places them at increased risk of future obesity and related health problems. Infants who, at the age of 16 months, slept less than 10 hours per day ate an average of 10 percent more calories than those who slept for at least 13 hours daily.19
Sleep Deprivation Ups Diabetes Risk in Both Young and Old
Recent research20 also confirms that sleep is an important factor in children’s risk for diabetes. A British team evaluated more than 4,500 children aged between 9 and 10 years of varying ethnic backgrounds. On average, their parents reported the children slept between eight and 12 hours, with the average sleep time being 10 hours.
Previous studies have shown children need more sleep than adults and this study confirms that view. Even at eight hours a night, children were at increased risk of obesity and insulin resistance when compared to those who slept the most.
According to senior author Christopher Owen, a professor of epidemiology at St. George’s University of London, for children, more sleep is better, and there’s really no upper threshold. He told The New York Times,21 “Increasing sleep is a very simple, low-cost intervention. We should be doing our utmost to make sure that children sleep for an adequate amount of time.”
Other research22 involving adults found that women who slept five hours or less per night were 34 percent more likely to develop diabetes symptoms than women who slept for seven or eight hours each night. Another study23 published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that after just four nights of sleep deprivation (sleep time was only 4.5 hours per night), study participants' insulin sensitivity was 16 percent lower and their fat cells' insulin sensitivity was 30 percent lower, rivaling levels seen in full-blown diabetics.
Senior author Matthew Brady, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, noted,24 "This is the equivalent of metabolically aging someone 10 to 20 years just from four nights of partial sleep restriction. Fat cells need sleep, and when they don't get enough sleep, they become metabolically groggy."
Sleep Deprivation and Dementia
Lack of sleep or poor sleep has also been linked to an increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, the latter of which is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Researchers from University of California Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab discovered that a lack of sleep leaves you more vulnerable to buildup of amyloid beta proteins in the brain, associated with dementia.25Needless to say, chronic sleep deprivation is particularly risky.26
Problematically, amyloid beta deposits also hinder your ability to sleep, thus trapping you in a vicious cycle. Lead author Bryce Mander, Ph.D., neuroscientist from the University of California Berkeley was quoted in California Association UC Berkeley magazine, saying:27
“What was unknown was whether or not that’s just a side relationship that has nothing to do with the clinical symptoms of dementia, or if sleep disruption is part of why these toxic chemicals in the brain are causing memory loss. This is not to say that amyloid and other pathologies can’t impact memory independent of sleep. But it does suggest that part of the way it impacts memory is through sleep-dependent memory.”
As mentioned above, recent research shows that babies have improved recall after napping, suggesting sleep plays an important role in memory solidification.28 Other research demonstrates that amyloid plaques, common in Alzheimer’s disease, build up more quickly in sleep deprived lab animals. Other important research discovered that sleep clears toxins from your brain during deep sleep, which is really important for the prevention of Alzheimer’s.29
Light Pollution and EMF Decrease Sleep Quality and Quantity
If you’ve ever gone camping, you’ve likely noticed a change in your sleep quality. Chances are you slept deeper and arose more rested. Aside from factors such as grounding to the earth and spending time in fresh air and nature, the most influential factor resulting in better sleep is the drastic reduction in exposure to artificial lights and electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
Exposure to light at night interrupts your circadian clock and melatonin level, both of which play a role in how deeply you sleep and how well-rested you feel the next day. LEDs and fluorescent lights are particularly troublesome because the blue light peaks are not balanced by red and near-infrared.30 Incandescent lights are safer, as they emit red and near-infrared wavelengths and very few blue wavelengths.
Even very dim light during sleep (such as that from a nightlight or alarm clock) can have a detrimental effect on your sleep quality and quantity, and can negatively affect your cognition the next day.31 Ideally, avoid electronic screens and predominantly blue light such as LEDs in the evening. Alternatively, use blue-blocking glasses. I’ve included a recommendation below for an inexpensive pair that work really well.
Similarly, EMFs emitted from wiring, electronic devices and Wi-Fi, for example, impair your melatonin secretion and harm your mitochondria by producing oxidative damage. EMF exposure has also been linked to neuronal changes that affect memory and the ability to learn.32 Importantly, research33,34,35,36 by Martin Pall, Ph.D., suggests microwave radiation from wireless technology may be a causative factor in Alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety and more. It can also seriously hamper your sleep.
As early as nearly 20 years ago it had been well-documented in over 15 studies37 that exposure to microwave radiation from cellphones, Wi-Fi, ELF and magnetic fields from improper wiring in your bedroom can disrupt melatonin production and deep sleep. There are far more studies confirming this now that can easily be documented by doing a pub med search.
EMF Remediation May Improve Your Sleep
Eliminating EMF exposure can be tricky, as most homes are flooded with electric currents and microwave radiation. Still, you can reduce it to some degree, depending on how far you’re willing to go. Here are some suggestions that may improve your sleep quality:
  • Turn off your Wi-Fi at night. Ideally turn off your Wi-Fi permanently and only used wired connections. 
  • You can also pull your circuit breaker to your bedroom before bed as this will decrease magnetic fields in your bedroom which will lower your melatonin. Ideally would be best to have a remote cut off switch to disconnect the power to your bedroom.
  • Avoid running electrical cords underneath your bed. Especially avoid plugging in any transformers (power supplies) within 6 feet of your bed
  • Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your head, or ideally out of the room. Not only do they create pernicious electric fields but they also shine unnecessary light in your room. So how do you know what time it is? Good question. I picked up a talking clock38 designed for the visually impaired to solve the problem. If you have your phone in your room it simply MUST be in airplane mode if it is within 30 feet of your bed or you will be blasted with microwave radiation all night long
  • Avoid sleeping with your head against a wall that contains unshielded electric wiring and/or electric meters, circuit breaker panels, televisions or stereos on the other side. Move your bed 3 feet away from the wall, install an EMF faraday cage canopy over your bed to shield against microwaves and turn off the power breaker to your bedroom to minimize electric and magnetic fields
  • Avoid using electronic media for at least an hour or more before bed. If you do use them after sunset, be sure to use a blue light filter. The research is quite clear that people who use smartphones and computers, especially in the evening but also during the daytime, are more likely to report insomnia.39 One 2008 study40 revealed that people exposed to cellphone radiation for three hours before bedtime had more trouble falling asleep and staying in a deep sleep.
Other Tips That Can Help Improve Your Sleep Quality
Increasing the number of hours you sleep to eight each night and improving your quality of sleep may help to significantly reduce health risks associated with sleep deprivation. Below are several suggestions that may help.41,42 For a more comprehensive list of strategies, see my previous article, “Want a Good Night's Sleep? Then Never Do These Things Before Bed.”
Turn your bedroom into an oasis for sleep
Your bed is a place to sleep and rest comfortably. Anything else, such as work, computers, cells phones or watching television will reduce the quality of your sleep. Reduce any noisy interruptions from pets or outdoor activities. You might consider removing your pet from the bedroom or using a white noise machine to reduce interruptions from outdoor noises.
Establish a soothing pre-bedtime routine
Activities such as a warm bath, reading a good book or relaxation exercises may help you fall asleep easier. If you have trouble falling to sleep one night, it’s better to leave the bedroom and read quietly than to try even harder to fall asleep. I would strongly recommend using blue-blocking glasses if you do this, to prevent your reading light from further depressing your melatonin production.
Keep a consistent schedule
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day allows your body to become accustomed to the routine. This helps regulate your circadian clock so you fall asleep and stay asleep all night. Keep this routine even on the weekends.
Get plenty of bright sunlight exposure in the morning and at noon
Exposure to bright light first thing in the morning stops production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and signals to your body that it's time to wake up. Outdoor sunlight is best, so you might even want to take a quick walk outside.
Not only will this increase in physical activity help you sleep later, but taking your walk outdoors — either first thing in the morning or around noon when the sun is high — gives you more exposure to bright sunlight, which helps anchor your circadian clock.
At sundown, dim your lights (and/or use amber-colored glasses)
In the evening (around 8 p.m.) you'll want to dim your lights and turn off electronic devices. Normally, your brain starts secreting melatonin between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., and these devices emit light that may stifle that process. After sundown, shift to a low-wattage incandescent bulb with yellow, orange or red light if you need illumination.
A salt lamp illuminated by a 5-watt incandescent bulb is an ideal solution that will not interfere with your melatonin production. If using a computer or smartphone, install blue light-blocking software like Iris — an improved version of f.lux.
The easiest solution, however, is to use amber-colored glasses that block blue light. I found an Uvex model (S1933X) on Amazon that costs just $9 and eliminates virtually all blue light. This way you don't have to worry about installing programs on all your devices or buying special light bulbs for evening use. Once you have your glasses on, it doesn't matter what light sources you have on in your house.
Exercise daily
Your body thrives on exercise and movement. It reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders. Exercise will help you get to sleep more easily and sleep more soundly. However, your body also releases cortisol during exercise, which may reduce your melatonin secretion. Exercise at least three hours before bed, and earlier if you can.
Keep your room cool
The optimal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 68 F. If your room is cooler or warmer, you may have a more restless night's sleep.43 During sleep your body's core temperature drops to the lowest level during a 24-hour period. The cooler your room is, the more conducive it may be to your body's natural drop in temperature.