The Evolution of Sleep
The Dreamers Company wants to help you get your best night’s sleep. Good sleep is the foundation of great health, so we designed the DreamTech Sleep Lens. Our sleep glasses block 99.9% of artificial blue and green light allowing your body to naturally produce the sleep hormone melatonin.
Sleep is a biological necessity. There are fundamental functions that are crucial for sleep regulation that have remained unchanged for more than 500 million years of evolution.
The sleep hormone melatonin and the alertness hormone cortisol act on opposite ends of our natural sleep-wake cycle. During the day your brain is working hard to produce the alertness hormone cortisol to help your body deal with both real and perceived stressors. As the sun sets your brain will produce the sleep hormone melatonin to bring on drowsiness by dropping your core temperature, relaxing your muscles and helping ease you to sleep.
The feeling of needing to be alert is a survival instinct carefully built through thousands of years of evolution and while the environmental factors have completely changed, our genetic mechanisms haven’t. So why then, despite living in such comfortable environments is sleep deprivation on the rise? Well plainly, technological advancement has moved far quicker than biological evolution. We have become enamoured with our phones, tablets, computers and TVs, all of which emit sleep disrupting blue and green light and our genetic ability to cope with these wavelengths has not had a chance to develop.
Near the inner surface of our retinas, we have 1.5 million ganglion cells. These cells are partly responsible for mediating our circadian rhythm and about 15,000 of them are directly light sensitive and are incredibly sensitive to blue light. So, while we unwind from the day with a movie, our eyes are absorbing blue light and these photosensitive ganglion cells are firing, telling our brain to produce cortisol to keep us alert, suppressing our body’s natural release of the sleep hormone melatonin, disrupting our natural sleep-wake cycle and combatting 500 million years of natural change.
Evolution has deemed it more important to dedicate our time to the biological mechanisms of sleep more than anything else you might do. If we take the old adage that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, and you spend four hours a day EVERY DAY, practicing to play the guitar, learn a language or shooting a basketball it will take you nearly seven years to perfect it. Applying that same logic to the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per day, we can become masters of our own sleep in less than four years.
We here at Dreamers believe we all need to reclaim our right to a full night of sleep.
Photo credit: Matias Alonso Revelli