Sleep is important. There is no way around that. All human's on earth need sleep to survive, grow, function and excel. In this article, we will discuss the importance of sleep, circadian rhythm, cellular balance, and how exposure to healthy light is a key ingredient to a good night’s rest.
Sleep is Essential for Health & Balance
Whether it’s staying in shape or preventing chronic health problems, sleep is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. It shouldn’t be compromised if you want to look and feel your best.
A fundamental ingredient for optimal physical function, receiving the recommended 8 hours of sleep nightly is as important as eating nutritious food, hydration and staying active. Hormones and cellular function depend on sleep to self regulate. Biological balance is a vital pillar of good health. Your bodies cells rely on adequate sleep to function and overcome the stresses of life.
Your bodies cells are constantly working and creating energy to function as efficiently as possible. This is done while maintaining the least amount of inflammation and oxidative stress. When we deprive our bodies of sleep, this can have systemic negative effects on the body and it's ability to preform effectively. Disrupting cellular balance affects the bodies hormones and has other ramifications such as weight gain, lack of concentration, hunger and stress. With sleeping problems being so common among adults, let's break down some simple reasons for why people sleep poorly and the consequences of sleep deprivation. Additionally, we'll also offer some awesome tips for getting a better night's rest!
Lack of Sleep
In the short-term, sleep deprivation affects our mood and makes us less alert, focused and less productive. This can lead us to making erratic, short-sighted decisions. In the long-term, chronic sleep problems contribute to numerous health complications. With 65% of American's stating that they are not sleeping well at night and between 50-70 million American's suffering from chronic sleeping disorders, it is clear we have a sleep problem.
The three main pillars associated with chronic sleep problems are:
Inflammation: Lack of sleep makes it harder for the body to balance our natural inflammatory response. This leads to increased inflammation in the body. When inflammation happens, chemicals in our body's white blood cells enter the blood or tissue to protect your body from harmful invaders. While the blood flow to this region increases to protect from injury or infection, it can cause redness, warmth, swelling and other undesirable effects.
Weight gain: Poor sleep can knock your body and cells out of balance. Maintaining a proper sleep schedule is essential for balancing your hormones and cellular function. Weight gain often is associated with other undesirable conditions and effects such as digestion and metabolism issues. While the stomach and other key organs work to sync with our circadian rhythm, a lack of sleep or schedule can have your body feeling confused. Limiting your food intake prior to sleep is an easy way to help protect this cycle. Additionally, eating your food within a specific timeframe can also be ideal.
Worse mental acuity: A lack of sleep can often leave you feeling drowsy, confused and demotivated. The consensus among experts suggests that lack of sleep leads to slower response times, decreased alertness, and less reliable judgement & performance. Experts also suggest that sleep deprivation can negatively affect both short-term and long-term cognitive learning and development as the brain cleans itself and replenishes itself through a deep-sleep cycle. Feeling tired, cranky and slow are often accompanied with lack of sleep. To attain mental acuity, research suggests going to bed at the same time every night, putting away your phone and waking at the same time the next day. A full 8 hours of sleep should have you feeling refreshed and ready to win the next day.
If you struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep or wakeup rested, read below to find out how Kala Red Light can improve your sleep conditions!
Healthy Light Plays a Major Role
Sleep problems are all too familiar to millions of people. As we learned, not all light is created equal and not all light will be better or worse for sleep and balancing a healthy circadian rhythm. The brain understands distinct signals to identify if you are awake or asleep. While your bodies circadian rhythm is designed around the sun, artificial lights from your phone, computer, television and modern life can disrupt the bodies understanding of these signals and knock your circadian rhythm completely out of sync.
Blue Light Disrupts Sleep and Circadian Rhythm: An overload of artificial light can cause sleep disturbances and headaches. When we absorb bright blue lights prior to sleep, whether that be from our laptops, televisions, video-games or other devices—especially before we go to bed, we are telling our bodies to stay alert and awake. This often effects our sleep cycle and keeps us up at night, even if we are tired.
Hormones: Light, cortisol and melatonin assist in regulating the bodies sleep cycle. Cortisol wakes us up and keeps us going. Cortisol levels tend to be highest in the mornings and lowest when we’re in our deepest sleep, typically around 3-4am. Bright artificial light’s stimulative effect on cortisol has been documented in clinical studies. 
Melatonin is a counterpart to cortisol that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. Your body usually starts producing melatonin in the early evening, when you’re starting to wind down and get closer to sleep. Bright light, especially bright blue light from phones and computers, has been shown to disrupt melatonin production. 
The light that we are often overexposed to throughout our day, especially as we work-from-home, can negatively effect our sleeping behaviours later in the day as we try to sleep.
Not All Sleep Is Created Equal
Not all 8 hour sessions of sleep are created equal. In addition to sleep quality and quantity, timing is important too. To encourage and support your bodies natural process in experiencing optimal recovery, it is important to get to bed at the same time daily, and schedule this around the earths natural sleep rhythms. This means getting to bed when the sun goes down, and waking up as the sun comes up. Simple right?
Circadian Rhythms are naturally occurring processes that happen roughly every 24 hours, like the sleep cycle, digestion, and metabolism. Every living organism has circadian rhythms, and they’re more likely to be successful when they live in line with these biological patterns. 
Your circadian sleep rhythm is your internal clock, and it’s tied closely to the sun and the light you take in from your environment. It’s beneficial to follow your body’s natural patterns for sleeping and waking. Your digestion and internal organs can develop a routine for using fat, your body can process inflammation, and cells can repair & regenerate more efficiently when you sleep at a similar time every night, and wake up closer to when the sun rises. 
Without the distraction of artificial lights and overstimulation, the human body will naturally sync to the planets cycles. This means rising with the sun and sleeping when it's dark. Sleeping 8 full hours is important, but if it's bright in your bedroom or your television is running in the background, your body will not be experiencing as good as a sleep.
Red Light Therapy Promotes High-End Sleep
Now that we understand how light effects sleep, what are we supposed to do when we are working inside most of the day and can't experience the joys of the sun? With the weather not alway's cooperating with our busy schedules, how can we ensure the light intake from the sun?
Kala Red Light Therapy treatments provide healthy light to enhance cellular function and support a balanced lifestyle even when the sun isn't around. From the convenience of your own home, you can get a targeted dose of healthy light without the harmful UV rays, excess heat or risk of overexposure to the sun.
How Does Kala Red Light Therapy Support Healthier Sleep?
Light is essential for how we live. Most people work indoors and don't get the full advantages of the healthy rays of natural sunlight. The average American spends over 90% of their time indoors, often surrounded by bright artificial light that can make it harder to sleep.  With a Kala Red Light Device in the palm of your hands, you can ensure you’re always getting the appropriate amount of healthy light your body requires. Your cells can absorb the healthy light no matter the time of the day, year or season. Even if you can't make it outside.
Kala uses specially engineered wavelengths of red and NIR light for deep penetration and targeted absorption. These wavelengths have been found to be the most beneficial across a large body of research for improving cellular function.
Sleep impacts every aspect of our health and is vital for how we feel, think and grow. How we function while we're awake is largely dependent on our sleep behaviours and attaining quality sleep. Living a balanced, healthy life is largely impacted by our sleep cycles. You can help yourself sleep better by following healthy lifestyle habits, which include absorbing light from a Kala Red Light Device and from the sun daily.
 Jung C, Khalsa S, et al. Acute Effects of Bright Light Exposure on Cortisol Levels. Journal of Biological Rhythms. 2010 Jun.
 Harvard Health. Blue light has a dark side.
 Book: Satchin Panda, PhD. The Circadian Code: lose weight, supercharge your energy, and transform your health from morning to midnight. Rodale Books. Jun 12, 2018 | ISBN 9781635652437
 N E Klepeis, W C Nelson, et al. The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants. The Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology. 2001 June.