Health & Fitness

Insomnia, Blue Light and the Yin of the Yin

Kristen Sparrow • December 30, 2011

This article in Psychology Today entitled “Blue Light and Sleepless Nights” (Insomnia is no match for the sun) by Sarah Korones reinforces a classic teaching in Chinese Medicine. The balance of Yin and Yang. We are in deepest winter, or the Yin of the Yin when it comes to seasons. So to provide balance, we need to receive the Yang of the Yang. The Yang is the day, and when the sun is at its peak, that is the Yang of the Yang. So for better sleep, it is important to get out in the sun, if possible, at midday for maximum benefit. This applies the whole year, but now it’s especially important to be mindful since daylight is more limited, so you have to plan. This same principle pertains to people with S.A.D. (Seasonal Depressive Disorder) also. They need to get out in the middle of the day and take in those light rays.This article spells out the science behind this yin and yang balance. Nice.

Insomnia-a common and difficult-to-treat condition-is estimated to cost the American economy $63.2 billion each year in lost productivity. A new body of research suggests that a cure might be as simple as soaking up some sun.
Blue light, a part of the visitble spectrum in solar rays, keeps us perky during th day, by suppresing the release of melatonin, the hormone that causes sleepiness. But when we spend our time cooped up indoors, our eyes fail to take in the proper amount of light, and we never get an internal signal to sleep at night.
“If you don’t have a change in melatonin levels during the wr hours of the day, your body doesn’t know when to rest and when to stay awake,..”

Suggestions include
-Take your lunch outside or walk to sowrk, when the sun is at its brightes
-Read a book before bedrtime rather than watching TV. The light might turn off your melatonin and impede sleep.
-Take off your sunglasses, at least for awhile during the day to get that blue light