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Fix your Sleep and Live Longer

Do you know you can extend your life by fixing your sleep? If you are getting less than five hours of sleep, your risk of dying goes up by 12 percent, so sleep is a potent predictor of all-cause mortality, and I’m not just talking about the amount of sleep; I’m also talking about the quality of sleep.

So, in this article, we will talk about how to fix your sleep, increase quality, and live longer.

Sleep explained

Sleep is essential for good health. We need sleep to survive — just like we need food and water. So, it’s no wonder we spend about one-third of our lives sleeping.

Many biological processes happen during sleep:

  • The brain stores new information and gets rid of toxic waste.
  • Nerve cells communicate and reorganize, which supports healthy brain function.
  • The body repairs cells restore energy, and releases molecules like hormones and proteins.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

These processes are critical for our overall health. Without them, our bodies can’t function correctly.

Your body cycles through four stages of sleep. This cycle occurs multiple times throughout the night for different lengths of time, varying from 70 to 120 minutes each. The stages generally repeat about four times during a 7- to 9-hour sleep period.

The pattern includes two significant phases of sleep: non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The four stages of sleep include three stages of non-REM sleep and one stage of REM sleep.

As the names suggest, non-REM sleep features an absence of eye movements, whereas REM sleep, when dreaming occurs, is characterized by rapid eye movements.

What causes sleep problems?

The real problem with our sleep is that we live in abundant artificial light. Most of our light sources are artificial, and we have them in excess. There are 24 hours of constant light supply. All that light inhibits melatonin production and secretion. Melatonin is triggered by darkness, so that’s one thing you need to know. It is also important to note that another type of melatonin is outside the melatonin-producing gland (the pineal gland). There’s another type of melatonin that is made by all your cells outside the pineal gland, and that melatonin is triggered by infrared light. The sun has over 50 percent infrared, so it is essential to expose yourself to the sun to get more infrared to build up your melatonin.

It is also worth mentioning that melatonin has a lot of other functions that go beyond just sleeping.

Melatonin is the most potent antioxidant.

Photo by Adrien Converse on Unsplash

Tips to sleep better

Expose yourself to the sun during the day

Your body has a natural time-keeping clock known as your circadian rhythm (1, 2).

It affects your brain, body, and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it’s time to sleep (23).

Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy and nighttime sleep quality and duration (456).

Photo by Daoudi Aissa on Unsplash

Reduce exposure to blue light in the evenings

Exposure to light during the day is beneficial, but nighttime light exposure has the opposite effect (78).

Again, this is due to its effect on your circadian rhythm, tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. This reduces hormones like melatonin, which help you relax and get deep sleep (910).

Blue light — which electronic devices like smartphones and computers emit in large amounts — is the worst in this regard.

Several popular methods can be used to reduce nighttime blue light exposure. These include:

  • Wear glasses that block blue light (1112).
  • Second, download an app such as f.lux to block blue light on your laptop or computer.
  • Third, install an app that blocks blue light on your smartphone. These are available for both iPhone and Android models.
  • Finally, stop watching TV and turn off any bright lights for 2 hours before bed.


Regular physical activity can promote better sleep. However, avoid being active too close to bedtime.

Spending time outside every day might be helpful, too.

Create a calm environment for sleep

Keep your room calm, dark, and quiet. Exposure to light in the evenings might make it more challenging to fall asleep. Therefore, avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime.

Instead, consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan, or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.

Calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, might promote better sleep.

Take magnesium

Responsible for over 600 reactions within your body, magnesium can improve relaxation and enhance sleep quality (131415).

I recommend taking magnesium threonate as this type can bypass the blood-brain barrier.


Sleep plays a crucial role in your health.

One extensive review linked insufficient sleep to an increased risk of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults (16).

Other studies conclude that less than 7–8 hours per night increases your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes (171819).

If you’re interested in optimal health and well-being, it’s recommended that you make sleep a top priority and incorporate some of the tips above.

Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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