Beware blue light: go low-tech before bed

Getting enough quality sleep is about more than just trying to avoid falling asleep during an afternoon meeting. Adequate sleep is necessary for the proper balance of the hormones that affect appetite and fat storage. When you find yourself dragging because you don’t get enough shut-eye, it’s a LOT harder to muster up the motivation and energy to exercise or cook a healthy meal, and you might find yourself relying on crutches like caffeine and sugar to keep going.

Many factors can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. The glow from your TV, computer, tablet or smartphone is one big one. These devices emit blue light, which is the worst kind to be exposed to before bedtime. Why, because it is especially good at preventing your pineal gland (a pea-sized organ in your brain) from releasing melatonin. Normally, your body releases melatonin a few hours before your normal bedtime, making you less alert and better able to sleep.

Do you enjoy snuggling up with a laptop or tablet before bed? Consider going low-tech with a book or magazine instead. Alternately, keep the device further away from your face than usual and/or turn the brightness settings down.