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Teeth brushing destroying your sleep - Swanwick Sleep

The Way You Brush Your Teeth Is Destroying Your Sleep.

by | Sep 28, 2018 | Sleep Hacks

So, the way you brush your teeth could potentially be destroying your sleep. Yep, you heard that right.

Do you feel like you have a perplexed look on your face like you want to eagerly deliver the 80’s TV sitcom Diff’rent Strokes TV show catchphrase, “Whatcha talkin’ bout Willis?”

Whatcha talkin bout Willis? - Swanwick Sleep

Most people feel that way when they first find out the way they’ve been brushing their teeth is causing sleep problems.

Are you eager to find out the “why” and “how” right now? If you want to bypass the medical and scientific background that explains it in detail, and you want to skip right to the answer, click here.

If you’d like to drag the suspense out a little more, kinda like a Game of Thrones storyline where you’re desperate to know how the story ends but you know the fun will be over once it does, then keep reading a little more.

Let’s create some context.

The Dangers Of Blue Light

Scientists have increasingly been warning us of the dangers of nighttime exposure to artificial light. An overwhelming body of new research has found that the harsh blue light emitted by high energy digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, TVs and household light bulbs plays havoc with your sleep and overall health.

Experts say that nighttime activities such as checking social media, watching TV, and taking selfies are increasingly linked to obesity.

This is due to the exposure to harmful blue light from high-energy devices that prevents your body from naturally creating melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. Scientists suggest that artificial light, particularly blue light, deceives the brain into thinking it’s still daytime. Therefore the brain doesn’t create melatonin and the result is poor sleep.

Blue light on brain infographic - Swanwick Sleep

A poll by the National Sleep Foundation stipulated that 95% of 1,508 respondents (13–64 years old) used electronic media within the hour before going to bed. The electronically-produced blue light is causing serious strain to your eyes, my friend. Every time you check your email, watch TV, use social media, play video games, and take photos, you risk experiencing digital eye strain and poor sleep.

Are experiencing blurred vision, headaches, with neck and shoulder pain? You should read this article explaining digital eye strain.

Is Your Health A Ticking Time Bomb?

Blue light on brain infographic - Swanwick Sleep

I know it may sound crazy but the world’s top doctors warn that too much of this brain-damaging blue light can cause eye fatigue, headaches, poor sleep, diabetes, obesity – even cancer.

The effects of blue light can increase your risk of cancer.

You can be in danger at any age

“Chronic exposure to artificial light at the wrong time of the evening is dangerous to your health,” says clinical psychologist and sleep expert Dr. Michael J. Breus.

“The disruption of healthy sleep cycles is linked to elevated risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders, as well as to psychological stress and depression.”

Harvard University’s Dr. Anne-Marie Chang’s 2014 study found that people who used electronics before bed took longer to fall asleep, had less deep sleep, it took them longer to wake up the following morning and they reported feeling sleepier and lethargic when they finally did wake up.

“This can have adverse impacts on performance, health, and safety,” she said.

Dr. Breus and Chang are only two of a growing number of scientists and sleep experts sounding the alarm.
The news is even worse for the weight conscious, with research finding a direct link between poor sleep and obesity.
“The recent obesity epidemic has been accompanied by a parallel growth in chronic sleep deprivation,” said Dr. Sanjay Patel, Assistant Professor of Sleep Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.

Australian Sleep Specialist Dr. Richard Simon, MD, agrees.

“We’re getting less sleep than we used to and our levels of physical activity have plummeted,” he said. “Add those features together, and we have the perfect model for obesity.”

Children are in most danger

And, here’s the worst part, we may have unknowingly been threatening the health of our children because kids who use electronics haven’t yet developed natural protection in their eyes.

Dr. Dave Lee, from the Children’s Eye Center, says by the age of 17, children would have spent six years looking at digital devices.

Dr. Lee told Fox News: “As we get older, the lens in our eyes naturally gets a little bit more yellow. That acts as a natural filter for that blue light.
“But children have little or no yellowing to their lens so they don’t have that natural protection.”

Electronic giants know the problem

Major electronics brands, Apple and Samsung, seemingly know how dangerous their products are for us.

  • Apple now has a “Night Shift” feature on its iPhones, which reduces the phone’s blue light exposure at nighttime.
  • Android has the “Twilight” version, which does the same.
  • And the “f.lux” software can reduce the blue light exposure on your laptop by adjusting the display’s color temperature to an amber tint when the sun sets.

These tactics are great at reducing your blue light exposure. However, none of these apps or settings help you block the artificial blue light emitted from your TV screen and light bulbs.

How effective is the Apple Night Shift app.

How effective are these blue light blocking apps?

You may think switching off electronics in the last hour before sleep will eliminate the problem. However, if you are still sitting in your living room with the lights on or reading with a bedside lamp, you’re still being exposed to the blue light and your sleep will be affected.

If you’re still brushing your teeth in the bathroom before bed, you’re still exposed to the bathroom light!
Ta-dah!!
Has the penny dropped?
Yes, you guessed it.

Why brushing your teeth at night is destroying your sleep

Brushing your teeth at night in a bathroom that emits artificial blue light is stimulating your pituitary and pineal glands, and disrupting your body’s melatonin production. Thus, making it harder for you to fall asleep.

BAD:

It means you’re more likely to toss and turn in the night, and you’re more likely to spend less time in that deep, REM, restorative sleep essential for optimal health. Therefore, you can still feel tired even after getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep.

To sum up, the way you brush your teeth at night is effectively destroying your sleep and it’s time to find a solution, my friend.

The (Not So) Perfect Solution

The question is, how can you return to brushing your teeth at night knowing that you can sleep the way nature intended for you to sleep? What’s the perfect nighttime routine you might wonder?

Well, the perfect scenario is to switch off all electronics, switch off all the lights in the house, and sit in the dark.

It’s true.

Sitting in the dark once the sun goes down is faithfully the best option for ensuring you get a great night’s sleep. Despite that, are you really going to do that? Let’s face it. We love our light at night, we love to watch our favorite shows, and we love to update social media.

With that being said, what’s the next best thing we can do?

The Perfect Solution?

GOOD:

Wearing orange-tinted blue-light blocking glasses filters out the specific blue wavelengths of light shown to cause poor sleep.

Friends, I’ve gathered some resources to help you repair your sleep.

It’s Backed Up By Solid Data

A Swiss study of 13 teenage boys, published in The Journal of Adolescent Health, showed that when the boys donned orange-tinted glasses in the evening for a week, they felt “significantly more sleepy” than when they were wearing clear glasses.

Due to kids being in most danger from the blue light, it’s important that kids wear blue light blocking glasses specifically designed for children.

Separate, independent studies at the University of Toledo in Ohio, the University of Lavel in Quebec City, and the Corvalles Psychiatric Clinic in Oregon, among others, have backed up the findings. The research conducted at the Corvallis Psychiatric Clinic in Oregon suggests wearing blue-light blocking glasses are an effective and inexpensive treatment for insomnia and sleep deprivation.

“Anything that will decrease that blue light exposure at night will be helpful,” said Christopher Colwell, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“I know some gamers who swear by those orange-tinted goggles.

Ultimately, Dr. Breus said we all needed to seriously rethink our understanding of light and its effect on human health.

“We live in a culture where electricity and artificial light are everywhere: inexpensive and always available in, seemingly endless supply.

“So it’s absolutely necessary that we stay educated and aware of all of light’s possible effects on our brains and our bodies.

“Only then can we minimize its dangers and risks to our health.” Julia Rodriguez from Advanced Sleep Medicine Services in California says:

“Blue light blocking glasses block a significant amount of light, reducing the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep at night.”

The National Sleep Foundation advises: Your body clock is affected by light, so turn off bright overhead lights and consider wearing a comfortable sleeping mask.

10 Tips to Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Here are 6 Ways To Help You Sleep Better Tonight

    1. Wear Swannies Night Blue light blocking glasses for adults and kids in the last hour before bed (especially when you’re brushing your teeth)

    2. Replace your light bulbs with Lighting Science light bulbs

 

  1. Download the free software F.lux
  2. Download Nightshift (iPhone) or Twilight (Android) to reduce blue light on your phone.
  3. 100% Pure Silk Sleeping Mask (voted best high-end mask)

  4. Doc Parsley’s Sleep Remedy to help you achieve the best sleep possible.

If you’ve made it this far, then I’m super proud of you for prioritizing your health. I know you are determined to make the necessary changes in your life that can effectively improve your overall health. The first step is to Grab Your Swannies today!

Do you have trouble sleeping through the entire night?

Block out all the light with our luxurious 100% Silk Sleeping Mask.

About the Author

Sam Mehan

Sam is a fashion designer and entrepreneur living in the ever exciting country of Australia. Sam has a passion for educating others on the dangers of blue light as she herself knows the struggle with eye fatigue from long days of graphic design, followed by relaxing nights of gaming.

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