TN50#135, Light Discipline Saves Lives, 16 October 2023
Ever hear AK47 rounds cracking over your head and hitting a wall behind you, then turn to find a young officer standing in a doorway of that same “wall” with his rifle’s white light on?
Just kidding (-; NOT using white light, at night, in combat, and in an exposed rural area is definitely one way that light discipline saves live, but that’s not the “light discipline” I’m talking about. Please, read on.
Happy Monday and welcome to The Next 50 #135. I like to think of personal performance in 3 components: physical, mental and emotional. My frameworks focus on 4 Buckets: Eat, Sleep, Move and Think. This blog is my sandbox for sharing information that you might find useful for your personal performance.
What is you could improve your depression risk tolerance by 20% during the day AND reduce the risk of depression by another 30% at night – for free? No brainer right, as a matter of fact you’ll even save money on your electric bill if you do this right so – better than free!
We all have a “Master Clock” that is light activated called our SCN (google: Supra Chiasmatic Nucleus). Our SCN likes to have bright sunlight exposure early in the day and once the sun goes down it prefers to have moderate to low light exposure. Satchin Panda, PhD enlightened us on this component of our physiology in his amazing book, The Circadian Code, back in 2018. We now have a massive study indicating that there may be similar psychological benefits when we treat the “Master Clock” the way it wants to be treated regarding light exposure.
So what’s the actual problem? Glad you asked! Here’s the best summary sentence I’ve ever seen describing the problem.
“Humans are spending around 90 per cent of the day indoors under electric lighting which is too dim during the day and too bright at night compared to natural light and dark cycles. It is confusing our bodies and making us unwell,” Associate Professor Cain. (Read the entire article which is very short here: https://www.monash.edu/news/articles/largest-ever-study-on-light-exposure-proves-its-impact-on-mental-health#:~:text=The%20world’s%20largest%20study%20on,as%20well%20as%20self%2Dharm.)
Tired of reading? Just want to know what to do?
Get out in bright sun light early in the morning and throughout the day, once the sun goes down reduce those bright overhead can-lights and use floor level soft light lamps until bed.
Psst, whether you read the article or not; that was your call to action.
Oh AND, in combat don’t back light your assaulters with white light unless you want to get made fun of for the rest of your life. Not that that would ever happen (-;
As always share the post with your team and anyone who might find it useful and let me know what you think!
Have a good one, Alex
PS. I was plenty cheeky in this article but we all know people who need every tool in the tool box to improve their mental health. If you have thought of even one person who needs this information (maybe you) take the 3 minutes to read the linked article and share it with your list.
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