Adam Meredith-Blue Light, Sleep And Your Migraines
Migraines are a horrible neurological disorder. They are not “just headaches” as non-migraine people think. I know this because I have treated patients with migraines for over two decades. Migraines are essentially a “brain processing” disorder. Information from the body and the environment that should be routinely handled by the brain, overwhelms the migraine brain, and causes the migraine.
Sleep And Your Migraines
Your sleep wake cycle directly impacts how well your brain handles information. Try doing a mental task or deal with screaming kids when you are tired! It’s well known that too little sleep or too much sleep can trigger migraines.
Your sleep wake cycle is also known as your circadian rhythm. A recent study showed that the more disrupted your circadian is, the more frequent and more severe your migraines.
Blue Light Controls Your Circadian Rhythms
Evolutionary biology shows that blue “light” controls your circadian rhythms.
A recently discovered protein called melanopsin in the retina of the eye, registers blue light and sends that information to a “Master Clock” in the brain. This tells your brain and body what time it is. This information is used to prepare for wakefulness, prepare for sleep, and to be alert between these waking and sleeping.
This worked well in cave man times where the only blue light came from the sun. It’s the change in blue light from the sun that tells the brain the time (with Blue light being the strongest at midday).
In modern day blue light is way more abundant and enters our eyes at times not related to the rise and fall of the sun. Today’s TV, smart phones, computer screens and LED lights etc emit huge amounts of blue light, and we stare directly at them all day, and well into the night.
This has led to the term “blue light toxic “referring to how much blue light is overly stimulating the brain, and ruining our sleep wake cycles!
Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses
To get back your circadian rhythm its crucial to block blue light as soon as the sun goes down. In cave man times when the sun went down, there was no blue light – (A little from the stars and moon on a clear sky, but definitely pitch black in the cave).
What lots of people don’t realize is that if you let blue light hit your eyes at night it’s actually delays the release of melatonin from you brain. Melatonin needs to be released in high levels at night for a good night’s sleep.
So when you watch TV at night, or use your phone up until bedtime, you are flooding your eyes with blue light. This delays the release of melatonin from you brain. Melatonin in high levels at night is needed for a good night sleep. When melatonin release is delayed, you don’t get the deep sleep your migraine brain needs.
If, however you wear 100% blue light blocking glasses as soon as the sun goes down, you will block the blue light, coming from your TV, indoor lights, phone etc. Thus ,your night-time melatonin release will not be delayed and you will get sleepy and then fall into a good night’s rest.
Get Morning Sunlight
Most people upon waking, look directly into their phones and blast their eyes with blue light. As you just learned this sends information to the brain that its midday, throwing off your circadian rhythm.
Monday to Friday we get ready for work (under blue light from indoor lights) and then into a car, train bus etc to get to work, to look at a blue light emitting computer all day. Remember we are designed to get signals about our sleep wake cycle from the sun. No wonder we sleep so poorly and get migraines.
Morning Sunlight Helps Your Migraines
To combat this, when you wake up, go straight outside so morning sunlight can enter your eyes. Do this for 30 minutes if you can, but even 5-10 mins is beneficial. It must be outside, and without glasses or contacts on. We need natural light to enter your eyes. When you are outside, you can then look at your phone if you like.
Morning sunlight has a double effect.
- Resets your circadian rhythm.
- Sunlight in the eyes will also start serotonin production. Serotonin makes you calm and happy, which is a good thing for anyone, but serotonin also gets converted to melatonin. So more serotonin means more melatonin you can make.
Do you wake up refreshed every day from a good night’s sleep? Like many, you probably do not. Try these two light bio hacks and watch your sleep improve and see the positive effect it can have on your migraines.
For further hacks for help your migraines try my 60 day challenge at www.themigrainestopper.com
About The Author
Adam Meredith is a retired Chiropractor and after 20 years of treating migraines really understands how horrible migraines are and the negative impact in a person’s life .When starting his practice he was truly shocked at the suffering his migraines were subjected to .The big thing about this disease is the public are simply not aware that this is a serious neurological disorder , and not just a headache .Adam learnt very quickly migraine sufferers often don’t get the support needed and suffer great anxiety as they never know when a migraine may strike and can totally ruin their quality of life . Adam learnt that not only have these patients lived with pain, nausea and vomiting but the aftermath of the attack leaves them drained and depressed for hours or even days. It was Adam’s patients that inspired him to invent the Migraine Stopper helping to date, hundreds of Migraine Sufferers turn off their migraines.
For further information or to purchase go to www.themigrainestopper.com and use the code ENHL2020 for a 5% discount.