What Changing My Relationship with Light Taught Me About Sleep and Productivity with Linda Geddes

Podcast 115

Our sleep schedules are influenced by everything from our exercise habits, diet to our workload and stress. More research shows light can also heavily impact our sleep for the better if we learn how to tap into our body’s natural clock. Linda Geddes explains the power of getting outside, the benefits of warm and dim natural lighting, and how we can shift our schedules to enjoy the sleep we all need to be alert for the work we have to do!  

In this episode, Cathy and Linda discuss: 

  • How Linda became interested in our relationship with sunshine 
  • How light affects our biology: alertness, melatonin, circadian rhythm 
  • The difference in being exposed to light during the day vs. night
  • What Linda learned from staying with an Amish family 
  • Results of Linda’s self-experiment with light and sleep    
  • How and why hospitals and care centers are incorporating more natural light 
  • Advice for optimizing your light exposure 

    Linda Geddes is a science correspondent at the Guardian, writing about biology, medicine and technology. Born in Cambridge, she graduated from Liverpool University with a first-class degree in Cell Biology. She spent nine years at New Scientist magazine working as a news editor, features editor and reporter, and remains a consultant to the magazine. Linda has received numerous awards for her journalism, including the Association of British Science Writers’ awards for Best Investigative Journalism.

    Memorable Quotes:

    • “By shifting your [circadian] clocks earlier, you allow yourself a longer window or opportunity to try and get some sleep overnight, and hopefully get more sleep.” 
    • “Reverting to this more natural light exposure pattern has multiple benefits for your life; it makes you feel more alert during the daytime and improves your sleep.” 
    • “The average American is spending 90% of their daytime indoors…we need to get out and embrace that light during the daytime.” 

     

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