7 Tips to Optimize Sleep, Including Red Light Therapy

Quality sleep is essential for health, energy, balance and longevity. Light plays a big role in your sleep cycle because of its influence on your circadian rhythms.

If you're looking for deeper, more restful sleep at night, here are 7 tips that can help optimize your sleep and help you wake up more energized.

1. Stay Active

Our body's activity level has its own circadian rhythm. Exercise helps the body function properly because we are made to move. Exercise is an essential part of sleeping better and feeling your best, especially early in the morning or afternoon. This has profound effects on your sleep and how you feel later that day. Exercise promotes health by increasing body temperature, which provides therapeutic benefits as the body returns to its normal temperature. This allows you to experience the relaxing effects that promote sleep. Please note: just as you don't want bright light in the evening, you also don't want to do intensive exercise late in the evening. A good guideline is not to exercise more than 3-4 hours before going to sleep.

2. Follow an Eating Routine and Don't Eat Right Before Bedtime

Not only what you eat is important, but also when you eat is essential. The foods we consume affect our body's digestion and metabolism because they also follow a circadian rhythm, similar to the sleep/wake cycle. Your organs are hard at work while you sleep, processing fat and preparing your body for the next day. They work more efficiently when you eat at approximately the same time every day, which helps establish long-term rhythms. It takes an average of 8-10 hours for your body to process food. Everything you consume before you go to sleep affects the rest you receive. It is best to eat your last meal no later than 2-3 hours before bedtime so that your body has time to metabolize and digest. This causes your body to switch from producing stored fat to burning it during the night.

3. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine in the Evening

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that is best avoided after the early afternoon. Most people need at least several hours to process caffeine and overcome the energy effect it has on your body. Avoiding caffeinated drinks can help you feel more ready for sleep, especially if you've been drinking them in the late afternoon. While some people think that drinking alcohol at night makes it easier to fall asleep, the truth is that it is more like sedation. Try to have your last drink of the evening with dinner so that your body has time to process the alcohol or caffeine and fall asleep faster.

4. Keep your Bedroom Cool

To enter deep sleep, your body temperature must drop 2 degrees. The easier you make this for your body, the faster you will fall into deep sleep. You can support your body in this by keeping the temperature in your room between 17-19 degrees Celsius. Hot and stuffy rooms make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

5. Silence helps with sleep!

This is clear: you sleep better when it is quiet. Unfortunately, many people have been seduced by the comfort of falling asleep with music or television in the background. This results in waking up in the middle of the night to turn off the electronics and continue sleeping. In addition, any form of noise in your sleep causes a stress response in your body, which will cause you to sleep less deeply. This disrupts your circadian rhythm and makes it harder for your body to process fat and recover properly at night. So, turn off those computers and smart devices and get the rest you deserve, if you live in the city it may be wise to sleep with earplugs.

6. Healthy Light Intake is Essential for Better Sleep

The overexposure to blue light from our laptops, smartphones and televisions disrupts our natural circadian rhythms. While we know that some types of light are better than others when it comes to the quality of your sleep, blue light is not one of them. The artificial, concentrated wavelengths from the overstimulation of new technology are a problem that many face. Blue light tricks the brain into thinking it is time to be alert and awake, due to the very high color temperature of light that is naturally present in sunlight especially in the morning. Limiting blue light before bed and giving your body a chance to relax will definitely help you have a more peaceful, deeper sleep.

7. Helios Red Light Therapy for Improved Sleep

Red light therapy from a Helios device can not only counteract the blue light overexposure we are exposed to during the day, but is also designed to improve sleep and cellular balance. If you find yourself working indoors most days or simply not getting enough sunlight, the calming, therapeutic light from a Helios device can help you get the rest you're looking for. This not only makes falling asleep easier, but also helps you stay asleep.

Using your Helios Mini can provide targeted treatments, especially early in the morning, giving you portable light wherever your day takes you. Helios has both red and near-infrared wavelengths that support healthy sleep and promote a balanced circadian rhythm.

You will find all Helios devices here !

Sources and References:

[1] Konturek PC, Brzozowski T, Konturek SJ. Gut clock: implications of circadian rhythms in the gastrointestinal tract. J Physiol Pharmacol. April 2011

[2] St-Onge AP, Mikic A, and Pietrolungo C. Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality. Advances in Nutrition. September 2016

[3] Sleep Foundation. Stress and Insomnia.

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