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Blue Goggles

A new study conducted by Swiss researchers at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel has found that special glasses that block only blue wavelengths may help us sleep better.

Our body is more sensitive to light then we might imagine. That computer screen in front of you could be the reason you had trouble sleeping last night. Excessive blue light is one of the leading contributors to poor sleep. Blue light wavelengths are produced by many of the devices that we rely on every day. Absorbing excessive amounts of these rays after sunset can make it hard to fall asleep.

Natural daylight keeps our body aligned with the environment. During the winter, when we experience less daylight, our body produces increased levels of melatonin, so we can fall asleep easier. During the summer, when we have more daylight hours to be productive, natural light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, allowing us to stay awake longer.

This dynamic pattern is part of our personal set of circadian rhythms. These rhythms aid in our sleep.

Unfortunately technology has the potential to disrupt these rhythms.

The Swiss team found that teenage boys who wore the glasses and used computers and hand-held devices before bed were much more likely to feel relaxed and tired before bedtime than when wearing clear glasses.

The glasses were effective in blocking the wavelengths that suppressed melatonin. The researchers were careful to also suggest the results may have been caused by an overall dimness. Not just the blue light.

iPhone Fail

“Oh my god! What time is it?!?!?”

This was probably the comment made by many iPhone customers who failed to wake-up on time for work this past weekend. Apparently, a glitch in the iPhone’s iOS 4.0 operating system caused the alarm feature on the phone to malfunction. The single wake-up feature did not work on the phones after midnight on December 31st. If customers had set their phones for a certain alarm time, the gadget, that claims to make everyone’s lives easier, would not have responded.

Many customers, mostly young people who use the phone for organizing their hectic lives, rely on the alarm feature instead of a traditional alarm clock.

This is the second issue with the new iPhone’s alarm that has occurred in less than two months. The first was an issue with the daylight savings time change on November 7th.

iPhone customers took to the web to voice their grievances.

‚ÄúStupid iPhone alarm clock went off an hour late. What a great start to the week.” Messages like these were all over the social networking website known as Twitter.

Apple claimed to have fixed the problem by Monday, January 3rd.

Our advice. If you have a highly unsympathetic boss or an important meeting to attend, always use a back up. Alarm clocks cost less than twenty dollars and can be equipped with a battery incase of a power outage.

We know you love your sleep, but keeping your job is even more important.

Employ a Back-Up

I Saw You…

Man viewed Woman

When: July 31st

Where: The Number 22 Bus heading into Downtown

You got on at MacDonald and Broadway, heading for the fireworks. You were with your friends, I think one was named Olive. You wore a purple dress with white embroidery. I sat across from you pretending to listen to my iPod. You look tired, well beyond tired. Your friend was talking about her trip to India. I was listening, but you seemed to be having trouble. I saw your head bob more than once as you fought back sleep. It was only 7:30, but for you it looked like 3:00 in the morning. Your friends continued to talk with each other and you continued to bob. Then you looked up and saw me watching you and smiled…

I wanted to say something witty, to comment on your shoes, or make a joke about narcolepsy. But my tongue was tied, pasted to my mouth with the ease of your smile.

You were beautiful, but I could see the bags under your eyes and a secret behind your pupils.

Why were you so tired? What had you been doing the night before? Why hadn’t you slept?” These were all questions that raced through my head until your friends dragged you off the bus, just after Pacific.

It’s been four days, but I can’t get you off my mind. You haunt my thoughts.

If I could rewind time, use the playback option on my PVR, I would offer one comment. One simple sentence. One piece of advice from a man across the aisle:

“You owe it to yourself to buy a new mattress, preferably a Simmons.” With that simple phrase I would stand up and move to the doors.

You would stand to thank me, but this time you would be speechless. All you would be able to do is smile. A thank you, with the lifted corners of your mouth. That’s all I would need. Content I would exit at the next stop, looking back only once to meet your tired eyes through the window. My gaze: A simple, you’re welcome.

Paper Books vs the iPad

One of the hottest gadgets on the market right now is Apple’s iPad. We all have a friend who has made the trek across the border to buy one of the devices before they go on sale in Canada. The buzz is huge and it seems Apple’s new gizmo is living up to the hype.

With web, email, photo, video abilities and a multi-touch screen, the iPad is the, all in one, portable device.

And, unlike your iPod, where the text is more suitable for squinting at than reading, the iPad has a 9.7 inch LED-backlit screen for browsing and indulging in e-books.

This has inspired many owners to replace their bedside ritual of reading a book before bed with scrolling through pages of the latest best seller on their new iPad.

The lamp may be off, your partner may be asleep, but you’re still able to enjoy “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” without a flashlight.

But this medium switch has some sleep scientists worried.

If we were reading a book the light from a lamp would be from behind us onto a page. With the iPad, the light is intensely direct. This light can disrupt the natural melatonin levels produced by the pineal gland. This gland regulates the sleep-wake cycle in our bodies. Artificial light delays the production of melatonin and makes it harder for our bodies to begin a restful state.

Reading a book before bed has also been considered a passive activity, suitable for winding down the day. The iPad experience is much more engaging, especially when you consider the options for surfing the net, checking your email and playing music.

All these extra activities have the potential to increase our anxiety, the last thing we want before sleeping.

Simmons Mattress Gallery knows that sleep is essential for our well-being and that is why we would like to suggest users of the iPad to stick with bound paper before bed.

You’re body may be cradled by a Beautyrest, but your mind needs to be given a rest as well.

Turn off the screen, turn on the lamp and ease into your sleep.

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