So you work at night.
When everyone else is sleeping. Zzzzzzzzzz……
Maybe you consider yourself a night owl.
Maybe you love the lonlieness of the night.
Perhaps you just need the extra money.
Or in many cases, you’re a new Mom and you HAVE to be up, all hours of the night. AND the day too!
Well, I’ve got news for all of you lovely owls. Hoot hoot.
Humans are not nocturnal creatures.
That’s right. We belong in the SUN.
Nocturnal creatures have biology specifically designed to take the universe at night. We humans do not.
Sadly, those of us who like the cavort all night and sleep the day away are working against their biology.
In fact, light at night, referred to as ALAN (Artificial Light At Night) is associated with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Yikes!
We have developed a protocol for night shift workers based on tons of requests.
None of this protocol is well researched in the literature because all literature is focused on the fact that daytime living is best for humans. We hear all about the dangers of living at night and being immersed in artificial light and technology. Based on this information, we attempt to come up with a way to trick your body into reversing day for night while maintaining your health. We honestly don’t know if this will work, but its our best guess based on our knowledge of how the body works with light.
Light at Night is Not Designed for Humans
Humans are designed to be sleeping when it’s dark. Yep, even at 5pm in the winter.
Regardless of how society has been set up to drain you, your body is supposed to be asleep during the nighttime phase on our planet.
Countless studies show how staying up past dark is detrimental to our health.
We lose the benefits of melatonin, the body’s master anticancer hormone.
We unsync our circadian rhythm which is associated with a host of diseases.
Harvard Medical School had a nice article recently on the Dark Side of light at night.
Even eating after dark is associated with increased obesity. The Gremlins movie had it right, don’t feed your cells after dark!
What The Heck Do I Do?
First, DON’T PANIC.
Do you have your towel?
Good, then let’s get started.
While working at night is not healthy, if you must do it, then it’s a good idea to implement as many strategies as you can to make it better.
The first thing you have to do is understand a little more about your body and about the Earth in order to find the optimal way to work at night.
Clocks are the Key
Our journey into the night must start with the dawn!
Part of the reason working at night is so darn harmful is because we miss the natural cues from the sun telling our body what time it is.
That’s right, our body is like a giant clock. Each and every cell in our body has a clock in it.
Our body clocks are set by the sun via special receptors in the eye.
When we don’t see the sun and instead see artificial light by staying inside, or worse yet, sleep through the dawn, then we confuse our body.
If you are going to sleep at dawn it’s probably best to attempt to reset your clocks to think dawn is dusk.
Then around dusk, when you are getting ready for work, you will have to trick your body into thinking dusk is dawn.
Go outside within 30 minutes of dawn.
If you’re still at work, take a “smoke” break or bathroom break and get outside even for a few minutes.
During the daytime, after you see sunrise, put on a pair of blueblockers and cover your skin to the light.
Your eyes and skin read the light environment and will tell your body it’s daytime.
But you want to go to bed.
Get home and black out your bedroom.
Use blackout curtains or put tonfoil in your windows to block the light (it works).
Keep your blueblockers on and avoid using lights at home if at all possible.
We use RED LIGHTS (Discount Code SLEEP) at home when it should be dark as the body doesn’t react to red lights like it does blue. And remember that nearly all LEDs, CFLs, incandescent, and halogen lights have enough blue in them to disrupt your circadian rhythm.
You are trying to get your melatonin to release. It wont do that if you see blue light.
Go to sleep!
Get a Magnetico
When you go to bed, it’s best to sleep on a huge magnetic field.
Our belief is that the Earth used to have a wayyyy stronger magnetic field years ago and it’s been getting weaker for so long that it’s near zero now.
The magnetic field can help heal our bodies.
But it’s basically disappeared.
Also, if you’re sleeping during the day, the field is lower anyway.
On Earth, the electric field, created by the sun is higher. At night, the magnetic field is higher.
By sleeping on a Magnetico you mimic the natural magnetic field present years ago and at night.
You can watch Dr Bonlie HERE talking about this effect.
Don’t eat within 3 hours of your bedtime.
You want to go to sleep without food digesting in your stomach.
Our own research, using an Oura ring sleep data for many years, has shown that meals close to bedtime disrupt deep sleep.
Deep sleep is the time when the body repairs itself. You want as much of that as you can get.
Our deep sleep went from near 2 hours a night to less than an hour a night and sometimes down to 20 minutes if we ate too close to bedtime.
This should be obvious by now. Put away the tech.
Technology can disrupt circadian rhythm from the EMF given off by most tech.
In addition, it can be stimulating and make it harder for many people to fall asleep.
Read a book in front of your red light (discount code SLEEP).
Then hit the hay.
Wake up and see the sun
Get up and get outside.
Sensible sun exposure increases vitamin D synthesized by the skin.
Low vitamin D status is associated with so many diseases I don’t even want to list them all. You can search here for many of them.
Because the sun is the BEST source of vitamin D, get outside with as few clothes on as possible and soak up some D.
Don’t wear your blueblockers, sunglasses, glasses, contacts, or sun screen. Get some sun. Be sensible about it and start slow if you haven’t been out much.
We recommend you stand outside barefoot where it’s safe to do so.
Being connected to the ground may reduce inflammation and increase your energy.
You just can’t substitute real sun and the Earth for any artificial construct.
Sunset and Breaking your Fast
Try to time your first meal around sunset.
Sunset is sunrise to you.
Most humans break their fast at sunrise (breakfast).
First we see the sunrise, then we eat.
Eyes covered at work
If possible wear daytime blueblockers or nighttime blueblockers.
You are surrounded by artificial light.
This light has been clearly shown to cause harm after sunset.
You want to let some of it in to keep you alert and awake, but not a constant bombardment.
Wear your blueblockers about half the time if you are able to and keep them off the other half.
If you work on a laptop all night, use an app like Iris.
You must learn to reverse day and night and try to mimic a true 24 hour cycle of light and dark, but in reverse of the actual light and dark on our planet.
While this isn’t ideal, it’s your best bet to survive night shift until you can start sleeping like a non-nocturnal animal again.