One of the health tips I had for combatting Graves Disease was to get 11 hours of rest a day. HA! At best I was getting 8.5 hours of light sleep and at my worst, I was waking some seven to ten times through the night.
But then, Skywalker introduced me to the bestest thing ever to help me sleep better. Eye masks! (No he does not use them except on overseas flights.) Turns out I’m very sensitive to light so a street lamp’s light filtering through curtains is enough to keep me in a “lighter” state of sleep. Any kind of charger, digital clock, etc light would also disrupt or prevent deep sleep. I’d always find myself waking early or multiple times through the night, especially as it stays quite light out in the summer.
Looking into the science side of it, we have light-sensitive ganglion cells in our eyes that senses light levels. It sends a signal to the pineal gland in the brain and the hormone melatonin is produced when the sun goes down which this starts the body in its sleep cycle. Cell rejuevination, anti-oxidation, liver detoxing, etc all take place when melatonin is at its highest level of production. Problem is that the presence of light or a flash of light is enough to signal the pineal gland it’s time to wake up, even if it’s oh-so-clearly not. (Cited in “The Healthy Home” by Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz.)
So now, with the eye mask, light is completely blocked out. I fall asleep quicker and stay in a deep sleep for much longer. Sometimes I’m even oblivious to Skywalker’s alarm though he has to snooze it several times before actually getting up. In the past I could hear the flick of a lightswitch in my “sleep”. I now wake feeling rested…even though it might only be 7.5 hrs of sleep. It’s 7.5 hrs of SOLID sleep. LOVE IT.
Next I’m going to look for some cute eye masks…like this one!
(I also found a way to wear the mask so I don’t wake up with the hair dent from the elastic. I pull the top half of my hair OVER the elastic so that any hair dents would be unseen.)