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October 22, 2021

Have you already earned your exclusive gifts by sharing us with your friends?
Here's what's Inside today:

  1. 1. Why does blue light get all the blame?
  2. 2. Can light bulbs make us fat?
  3. 3. A 2-day reset for better sleep and more
  4. 4. Toe wiggles for back pain
  5. 5. Minimalism on the mind

Share with friends, get Insider gifts

First-time reader? Welcome! If this was forwarded to you, subscribe here to join us on the Inside.

Is Your Night Too Bright?

Light. We need it to see after dark.
But is it making us fat, groggy, depressed, and more prone to cancer?

And not just blue light. We’re talking about ALL artificial light.

Picture your living room on a typical night. Bright screens, ceiling lights, floor

Compare that to the photo above.
Your home's a little blinding by comparison, no?

Until about 140 years ago, humans were only exposed to bright light from
the sun.

After sunset, it was nothing but moonlight, firelight or candlelight. Then came
the lightbulb.

Now, our evenings are lit up like Christmas trees.

So how do our bodies feel about all this unnatural nighttime light?

What we know

From hunger to hormones, your body functions on cycles. And they’re all tied
to one:

It’s called your sleep/wake cycle and it’s linked to light exposure.

See, when the sun sets, your body is programmed to do some cool things to prepare for rest:

  1. — hunger goes away
  2. — muscles relax
  3. — metabolism slows
  4. — your body temperature drops
  5. — melatonin rises

Those are all cued by the absence of light.

So what happens when we’re exposed to artificial light at night?

Light exposure during the evening can confuse your internal clock and
make your body want to go to sleep later than it normally would.²

Specifically, it delays melatonin production (the hormone that makes you tired).³

Studies show that a mere 1-hour delay of melatonin production can negatively affect performance⁴, alertness⁵, and even overall well-being⁶.

See, light is a powerful biological cue.

When your sleep/wake cycle gets confused from bright light at the wrong
times, it may have serious health consequences like cognitive impairment, metabolic issues, depression, weight gain and more.⁷–⁹

It can affect sleep quality, too, making it more shallow and less
restorative.¹⁰ That's why people who live near lots of outdoor lights are more likely to have trouble sleeping.¹¹

What we're still learning

Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about cutting back on blue light.

But, given all that science above, doesn’t it seem weird to you that no one
talks about turning down the white lights too?

Our beloved lightbulb might be getting off on a technicality:

A lot of studies link nighttime light exposure to cancer, diabetes and heart disease but these studies don’t prove that the light actually causes those conditions.¹² (A link doesn’t imply causation.)

Maybe we need more studies. Or maybe we need to pay more attention tostudies that show what happens when we turn off the lights...,

Just one weekend of camping can massively shift your internal
(nearly an hour and a half!) closer to where it should be.¹³

The bottom line

When it's light outside, your body should want to be awake. When it's dark, it should want to rest.

This natural sleep/wake cycle might be getting messed up by too much artificial light. That light has also been linked to harmful health effects like weight gain, depression, and memory problems.

Feeling inspired to bring your lighting habits more in line with nature? Here's what to aim for:

First thing in
the morning:

Kickstart your internal clock with 5-10min of bright, natural light. This will also help reset a disrupted sleep/wake cycle. Try a morning walk or sit outside while sipping your tea.

During the

You want as much exposure to natural light as possible. Spending a few hours in 600-10,000 lux is ideal for optimal sleep/wake cycle function. A sunny day is 300
times brighterthan most offices! Try putting your desk near a

After sunset:

Aim for firelight simulation. Dim your lights and turn off your screens. Try using candlelight or dimmed red and yellow

While sleeping:

Total darkness is best! As little as 10 lux has been shown to disturb sleep (that's the brightness of an urban street at night). Try blackout curtains or a sleep mask.

How do I make changes?

We're all different, so we've divided some action steps into varying levels of commitment for you:

Toes in

😴   Pick up a soft, comfy sleep mask.

☀️   Add 5-10min of natural daylight to your morning routine. It can be a quick walk, tea on your patio, or even sitting in that warm sunbeam by your window.

🏮 Using nightlights to navigate to the bathroom? Switch to orange or red nightlights.

Waist deep

🚦   If streetlight seeps into your bedroom, invest in some blackout curtains (and maybe a sunrise simulating alarm clock to help you awaken more naturally).

📖   Commit to turning off your screens 1-2hrs before bedtime. Read or call a friend instead!

🕯️  For one week, try using only candlelight after sunset and see how you feel.

Full immersion

🛋️   Swap your home lighting for smart bulbs that you can dim (and change colors!) with an app.

💡  Commit to using only low-watt bulbs or candlelight after the sun has set.

⛺   Sleep cycle way out of whack? Go camping! When you're exposed only to natural light, your internal clock will sync up with sunrise and sunset.

Plant Prescription

Need salty snacks for your next firelight adventure? Upgrade with the nourishing combo of Roasted Chickpeas & Rooibos.

Did you know rooibos contains unique antioxidants not found in other foods? Plus, everyone will be wondering what your secret ingredient is...

Move It or Lose It

Nothing says confidence like good posture and a body that moves well. If you spend too much time hunched over a screen (don't we all!), try these targeted moves to stay agile and radiant.

Imagine living most of your life with shoes on your hands. How well would your fingers move?

Of all the muscles and bones in your body, roughly 1/4 of them are below your ankles! Constantly cramming your feet into shoes stymies their
and can take a toll on your mobility...

Bring some life back to your feet by taking a few minutes every day to train your toes. Here's how:

1. Press your feet flat on the ground and try to lift your big toe – without lifting any other toes. Relax.

2. Next, press your big toe to the ground and try lifting all the other toes – keeping your big toe on the ground. Relax.

3. Repeat several cycles of this at least once a day.

P.S. Restoring toe mobility isn't just about taking care of your feet. It can help alleviate pain all the way up your body: knees, hips, back, shoulders and neck...

Mindful Manifesting

Try the hug-and-breathe technique to help ground someone (or yourself!) today:

Hug someone tight and take 3 big, deep breaths together.

Even if you can’t get them to breathe with you, feeling your breath can help to ground them!

Furry Revelations

Dogs are smart.

Or copy and paste your referral link to others:

Wishing radiant health to you and your loved ones,
Jessica, Allison & Simon

1. Wright KP, McHill AW, Birks BR, Griffin BR, Rusterholz T, Chinoy ED. Entrainment of the human circadian clock to the natural light-dark cycle. Curr Biol CB. 2013;23(16):1554-1558

2. Burgess HJ, Molina TA. Home Lighting Before Usual Bedtime Impacts Circadian Timing: A Field Study.Photochem Photobiol. 2014;90(3):723-726

3. Figueiro MG, Rea MS. Preliminary evidence that light through the eyelids can suppress melatonin and phase shift dim light melatonin onset. BMC Res Notes. 2012;5:221

4. Burgess HJ, Legasto CS, Fogg LF, Smith MR. Can small shifts in circadian phase affect performance? Appl Ergon. 2013;44(1):109-111

5. Taylor A, Wright HR, Lack LC. Sleeping-in on the weekend delays circadian phase and increases sleepiness the following week. Sleep Biol Rhythms. 2008;6(3):172-179

6. Yang CM, Spielman AJ, D’Ambrosio P, Serizawa S, Nunes J, Birnbaum J. A single dose of melatonin prevents the phase delay associated with a delayed weekend sleep pattern. Sleep. 2001;24(3):272-281

7. Jagannath A, Taylor L, Wakaf Z, Vasudevan SR, Foster RG. The genetics of circadian rhythms, sleep and health. Hum Mol Genet.2017;26(R2):R128-R138

8. Sleeping with artificial light at night associated with weight gain in women. ScienceDaily

9. Fonken L, Workman J, Walton J, et al. Light at night increases body mass by shifting the time of food intake. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:18664-18669

10. Cho JR, Joo EY, Koo DL, Hong SB. Let there be no light: the effect of bedside light on sleep quality and background electroencephalographic rhythms. Sleep Med. 2013;14(12):1422-1425

11. Ohayon MM, Milesi C. Artificial Outdoor Nighttime Lights Associated with Altered Sleep Behavior in the American General Population. Sleep. 2016;39(6):1311-1320

12. Blue light has a dark side. Harvard Health. Published May 1, 2012

13. Stothard ER, McHill AW, Depner CM, et al. Circadian Entrainment to the Natural Light-Dark Cycle across Seasons and the Weekend. Curr Biol. 2017;27(4):508-513