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Sleep Environment

January 7, 2021
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Transcript

"The environment is very important when kids are small, it makes no difference. I remember Thanksgiving with the family together and my little nephew, five years old, missing his nap time because they didn't want to go to bed with everybody celebrating. And so the game was on, it was a lot of noise and people were in the kitchen making a lot of noise and he laid down on the hard tile floor in the kitchen and fell asleep. Children are great at this, but as we get older, we're more sensitive to our surroundings. And so if we have difficulty sleeping, what we need to do is control those things. The bedroom should be dark. Any light that gets in is a signal to the brain that it may actually be daytime. After all electric light bulbs were only invented a little over a hundred years ago. And so it was either sunshine or it was firelight from the hearth or from a candle, much less bright than our bright fluorescent or led bulbs today. So keeping the bedroom dark with blackout blinds. So the sun doesn't creep in and all the digital apparatus, whether it's the digital clock or a TV lights or other things going on, make sense. But what happens if you have to get up and use the restroom at night, you don't want to trip and fall, but if you turn the bathroom light on, it actually turns off the melatonin that light goes through your eyes, tells your brain in the pineal gland to stop producing melatonin. A very important hormone that controls circadian rhythm. It tells you is it day? Is it night? If the lights on at three o'clock in the morning, your brain thinks, Oh, it must be morning. And to shut off the melatonin ordinarily once morning occurs 14 hours or so later melatonin gets turned on 16 hours or so we're sleepy. We sleep for eight hours and then the process begins again."