The Night School Challenge
Do you want to improve your sleep?
I am delighted that Night School has been chosen by the Psychologies Book Club.
Hundreds of studies have shown that good quality sleep is essential to our wellbeing. Unfortunately, we are facing an epidemic of sleeplessness, with surveys showing that nearly six in ten British adults are now sleep deprived and get 7 hours or less sleep each night.
Some of the latest research has uncovered one possible cause of this epidemic. Light towards the blue end of the spectrum is especially effective at keeping you awake because it suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Unfortunately, computer screens, tablets, smartphones, flat-screen televisions, and LED lighting all emit large amounts of blue light and so it's important to avoid them before bedtime.
Because of this, I am teaming up with Psychologies to launch the Night School Challenge. We want everyone to spend one week limiting their exposure to blue light in hour before they go to bed, and to then tell us whether their sleep has improved.
Ideally, we want you to turn off your smartphone, tablet, or computer in the hour before bedtime. If this really proves impossible, then at least turn down the brightness, ensure that the device is at least twelve inches from your eyes, or wear commercially available amber-tinted glasses that block blue light.
In addition, please don't place your smartphone or tablet on your bedside table. Having these devices close at hand means that you will be tempted to surf the web or check your emails during the night and so exposure yourself to stimulating blue light. Instead, if you lay awake for more than 10 minutes during the night, try turning on a low light and quietly reading a book or a magazine.
Will you be able to keep away from the lure of blue light? And if you do, will your sleep improve? I am looking forward to finding out!