The Best Books to Help You Improve Your Health and Sleep

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Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Do you experience headaches, fatigue or cognitive issues during the day? Whether you’re looking for health tips, or you just want some new reading material, here’s our list of must-reads — covering everything you need to know about circadian rhythm, natural vs artificial lighting, preventing chronic illnesses, and sleeping better at night so that you can perform better during the day.

Why We Sleep

In his book Why We Sleep, Sleep Scientist and Professor of Neuroscience at UC Berkeley, Matthew Walker, examines how sleep itself affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. In doing so, he does a truly compelling job in illustrating the purpose and power of getting the proper quality and quantity of slumber each night. If you find that you have a hard time remember things during the day, take a good look at your sleep schedule during the evening time. As Walker points out, your brain is like a filing system that needs rest in order to retain the information it receives each day. In addition, getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night can help us improve our cognitive function, avoid cancer, and live a happier, healthier life. We promise, once you pick up this book, you won’t want to put it down!

The Sleep Revolution

In this New York Times bestseller, Arianna Huffington explores how sleep deprivation not only compromises our health, but also hinders our decision-making, undermines our work lives, and negatively impacts our personal relationships.  She explains in detail the rituals that she has adopted to help promote a good night’s sleep, including but not limited to: writing down things that she is grateful for; dimming the lights, and stowing her phone and other electronic devices away while she recharges in her bed.

This book comes after Huffington’s personal experience with passing out from exhaustion, and has set the stage for a new meaning behind the saying ‘sleep your way to the top’.”

The Circadian Code You’ve probably heard of the term “body clock”, but do you know how yours works?  Your body operates on a cycle that lasts for approximately 24 hours, and it is very closely tied to the rise and fall of the sun.  Science shows that your body is heavily influenced light as well as temperature, and this is how you know when to wake up and fall asleep, when to eat, and when to exercise. Dr. Satchin Panda’s The Circadian Code offers an in-depth explanation of why the circadian clock is important, how it works, and how to know it isn’t working. More specifically, it outlines lifestyle changes that will help you get back in sync with your natural circadian rhythm if you often have a hard time waking up or sleeping naturally. This book also explains how to avoid and/or reverse a long list of health concerns including, but not limited to weight loss, insomnia, mood disorders, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.  The Circadian Code provides a plan that’s backed by science to help you overcome weight loss, improve your sleep, optimize exercise, and effectively manage technology so that it doesn’t interfere with your body’s natural rhythm.

Rhythms of Life

Biological clocks are deeply ingrained in our genes. When they become disrupted — by staying away for extended periods of time, or overexposure to artificial lighting, for example,  humans can experience a number of health concerns — including jet lag, seasonal affective disorder, depression, and heart disease. In this scientific book, Russell Foster and Leon Kreitzman explain the significance of the biological clock and how it plays an essential role in all living organisms.

The Light Around Us

When was the last time you thought about the light around you?  From the moment we wake up in the morning until the time we go to bed, we are constantly surrounded by different types of light that directly impact our performance and mood.

The Light Around Us is designed to get us all thinking more proactively about light — different wavelengths of light and light sources, as well as how they affect us in all different aspects of life.  More specifically it explains the differences between exposure to natural light from sources like the sun, moon, and stars, and that from artificial light sources like fluorescent, LED and incandescent bulbs.  The book also gives practical tips on how to live a more light-compatible life in a world that’s always “on”.

Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life

Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest holistic methodologies, having started in India more than 3,000 years ago. It’s based on the belief that optimal health and wellness can be had only when you strike a true balance between the mind, body, and spirit.

Research in chronobiology shows that our physical, mental, and emotional health are all directly affected by our natural circadian rhythms.  Similarly, aligning ourselves with these rhythms can help us achieve optimal health.

As the title suggests, Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life provides a how-to guide on optimizing your daily routine so that you can harness the power of your natural body clock to lose weight, improve your workouts, and get the quality sleep that you’ve been craving.  


Know of any other books we should add to our list? List ‘em in the comment section below!

Junk Light, Disrupted Sleep, and Your Health

Exposure melatonin disrupting junk light can have have effects on many aspects of your health

Sleep cycle disruption

Junk light exposure when traveling can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Long-term exposure to light at night which accompanies shift work is listed as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Light at night has shown to be highly associated with significantly the risk of hormone specific such as cancers of the breast and prostate.

Headaches/Vision

The flickering wavelength of light associated with LEDs and compact fluorescent lights emit blue light that inhibits melatonin production but also create a unique glare that impacts your retina causing eye strain, headaches, and physical and mental fatigue.

Weight Gain

Red light and darkness move leptin and ghrelin into patterns that are (context dependent) associated with less hunger, while blue light does the opposite and can move both into patterns associated with more hunger.

Anxiety/Depression & Depression

Increase in cortisol, the stress hormone, due to circadian disruption. Memory recall is impaired with consistent sleep deprivation and may leave you distracted and not performing your absolute best.

The Importance of Melanopsin Cells

The Key to Better Sleep

detects blue light

The melanopsin cells detect blue light it tells your brain that it is “daytime” and less melatonin is produced.

sending signals to your brain

The signals to your brain to alert brightness and for the brain to increase or suppress the sleep hormone, melatonin.

Light Source

Melanopsin cells can’t differentiate the blue light that occurs naturally form the sun from the junk light emitted from your computer monitor.

Start Optimizing Your Life

Harness Your Biology to Fight Junk Light

Your body requires some blue light at the right time of day and from the right sources. That’s why we created TrueDark® Sleep Technology that gives you 24-protection from junk light day and night.

Use TrueDark® Twilights When You’re Ready for Sleep

Stop Junk Light with TrueDark® Twilight technology that frees your hormones and neurotransmitters to do their best work.

When the sun goes down, blue light isn’t the only junk light that can disrupt our sleep cycle and more than blue blockers are needed. TrueDark® Twilight is the first and only solution that is designed to work with melanopsin, a protein in your eyes responsible for absorbing light and sending sleep/wake signals to your brain. Without melanopsin, melatonin can’t be accessed.

When you wear your Twilights for as little as 30 min before bed you prevent your melanopsin from detecting the wrong wavelengths of light at the wrong time of day. This supports  your circadian rhythm and helps you fall asleep faster and get more restorative and restful sleep.

glasses to help with computer eye strain computer glasses

TrueDark® Daywalkers for Your Waking Hours

The highly advanced lenses in TrueDark® Daywalkers operate on a more advanced level than traditional blue blockers.

Blue light emitted from the sun helps regulate our sleep/wake cycle. However, in today’s world, we’re exposed to an overabundance of blue light, or junk light from artificial light. This includes hours spent in front of  TVs, phones, and computers. It also includes time spent in artificial man made light with LEDs and fluorescent lights. Even if we’re simply reading a book, we’re doing that in artificial light which emit dramatically more blue light than the sun. That overexposure to junk light during the day has a dramatic impact on our neurotransmitters and hormones that are responsible for quality sleep.

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