Newer artificial lights like white LED (light emitting diode) light and CFL (compact fluorescent light bulbs) lack many of the suns frequencies that our bodies and brains need. With artificial lights, we’ve eliminated most of the infrared, red, and violet lighting that’s found in the natural sunlight. At the same time, we’ve increased our exposure to blue light remarkably, as this light is predominat in our televisions, computer screens, and cell phones.
Why does this matter to you: Because your mitochondria have to produce more energy to process the blue lights to LEDs, which burns oxygen and creates free radicals in the cells of your eyes. When the mitochondria in your eyes are stressed, the rest of your mitochondria can get stressed too, including the ones in your brain.
A 2005 study concluded that blue light “can cause cell dysfunction through the action of reactive oxygen species on DNA and that his may contribute to cellular aging, age-related pathologies, and tumorigenesis (the creation of tumors).” Essentially blue light can alter mitochondria for the worse and cause macular degeneration.
- VITAMIN D3: UVB light is vital to activate vitamin D in your body and to help set your circadian rhythm. UVS light hits your skin, it converts vitamin D into its activated, sulfated form. Therefore, you can’t just pop vitamin D and expect to be getting the benefits of vitamin D. You have to activated the vitamin, and that requires sunlight exposure or a high quality UVB light.Fish or natural sunlight. I like Thorne Vitamin with K2.
- WATER: Water is not well absorbed into our cells, so add a pinch of Himalayan sea salt, or some trace minerals. If you want to get fancy, and prefer the taste of something more than just plain water, pop an electrolyte tab such as a NUUN.
- DHA: DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid associated with brain growth and development. You need to start thinking of your body like a battery. If you have a strong battery, then your car is running fine. Your immune to most illnesses and stresses and you’re plugging along in life. DHA and water work together to form your battery. That battery is capable of giving your cells its spark of life. If you’re low on one or the other in your body, your body won’t work as well. You can get DHA from a fish oil supplement from a reputable brand such as Nordic Naturals or Natural Stacks makes a good Krill Oil. Krill Oil is known for it’s high amount of DHA.
- MAGNESIUM: the anti-stress mineral helps balance blood sugar, optimize circulation and blood pressure, relax tense muscles, reduce pain, and came the nervous system. It does a lot, so it can get depleted. It’s one of our top mineral deficiencies. I like a highly absorbable magnesium, such as magnesium citrate by Natural Calm (lemon/raspberry is my favorite). Natural Stacks also makes a good one, MagTech, with three different types of magnesium in one dosage. I like to alternate between the two.
- MELATONIN: Melatonin is an antioxidant so taking it is not a problem, however, many people are overdosing with this supplement, because they think more is better. You want to micro-dose with it, and just take enough to kind of nudge your body to sleep. I have been experimenting with Bulletproof Sleep Mode, and have been loving it. With only 5-6 hours of sleep, I have been waking up more restful (note I have never tried any other melatonin supplements, so I can’t really compare).
- Go out early and get sun exposure from 9-11am, let the sun hit your eyes, aim for 20 minutes bare minimum of early sun exposure
- Reduce blue light as much as possible, wear blue blocking glasses to augment your artificial junk light
- Supplement with things like vitamin D, magnesium, melatonin, DHA, water with minerals. If you want extra credit, or you feel like you haven’t been doing a good job with some of the above listed hacks, you could also buy an eye supplement made by Bulletproof called Eye Armour. I know several people that have tried it and have gotten good results. It’s a supplement chalked full of good things for the eyes to help reduce glare sensitivity and visual performance and acuity. Again, I think this is something that’s an extra and not a must, especially if you’re doing all the above listed hacks.
- Find your sleep timing for the days you’re off, you can’t make up sleep debt. You ideally want to be in bed before 11pm to reduce the second wind feeling you get from a new release of cortisol.
Dave Asprey’s book HeadStrong
Shawn Stevenson’s book Sleep Smarter
Dr Jack Kruse Time#9 blog post
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