Light is Poisoning Your Sleep

The short story is that we’ve got this amazing hormone called cortisol. It’s often referred in slang as “the stress hormone,” as it’s the fuel inside us to tell us, “Hey, it’s daytime! You should go get food and have sex. Also, if you need to run from a tiger, we’re ready to roll!”

Our beautiful bodies as so complex and powerful that exposure to light begins producing this cortisol stuff to get us going each day. The only kicker is we haven’t adapted so much to our ability to artificially infuse our lives with light at all times. The idea that our streets are always lit, that we have a mini version of the sun in our hand with out iPhones, and the fluorescent lights of most public buildings all play a part in confusing our body into thinking that it’s day time (and time to get food and be active). In addition, light curbs melatonin production.

You don’t need to be a scientist to read the writing on the wall with this one. There are consequences for your body being confused into thinking it’s always day time.

These consequences include poor sleep and recovery, a dietary nightmare of perpetual eating, and hormonal imbalance. Now before you move to Joshua Tree, let’s start with a practical change.

Sleep in the dark.

Your room should be pitch dark and preferably cool in temperature (design and fung shui is cool, too, though). Black out shades are key. Hopefully this far into the blog you’ve understood that leaving the TV on is a poor choice, as well. Want to know exactly how hardcore this darkness should be?

A study illustrated that a small exposure of LED light to the backside of patient’s knee begin the release of cortisol in the blood in an otherwise pitch black room, which leaves your cell phone, light from the street lamp outside your window, and even that damn red light on your alarm clock/DVD player/TV could be a perpetrator to your hormones (Wiley, T.S. Lights Out).

Try sleep in total darkness for real rest, and potentially even weight-loss and cancer fighting properties. Night night!


Logan Gelbrich


8/11/14 WOD

Spend 15 minutes on the candle stick roll.

Then, AMRAP 12
8 Toes-to-Bar
10 Front Squats (115/75)
12 Double Unders