Sleep Deprivation and Hot Banana Peppers

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I will never understand why my favorite 4AM activity is eating hot banana peppers from the jar. How did I get to be so gross?

I tend to work late at night, writing, researching or goofing around vivaciously into the wee hours of the morning. I attribute my work motivation to that of a night owl, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. When I start to feel a drag in my attention I run to the fridge for fuel. This game occurs 3-4 times in a matter of hours. Before I know it, it’s past 4AM and not only do I have to wake up in a few hours, now I can’t fall asleep.

Why can’t I sleep?

Was it the occasional snacking?

No, I ate light things, like a few hot banana peppers from the jar and maybe a few jelly beans. C’mon stomach and brain, I had zero carbs.

So why can I not encroach on my impeded destination of REM?

According to a sleep study done in 2014, blue light sources, like that of your computer screen, cell phone, TV, and other electronic devices, limits a person’s ability to fall asleep. While I’m productively working on my computer, the light that my computer projects is actually what is keeping me alert and eventually becomes counterproductive when trying to fall asleep.

There is an alternative way about dealing with this modern blue light issue without turning off your electronic devices hours before you plan to sleep. Android (still waiting for iPhone) has an app called Twilight that filters the blue light your phone and/or tablet emits, and then adjusts the light through a red filter after sunset. While using the app, your electronic device radiates a soft orange hue. The app is not only easy to use and regulate, it’s also affordable (it’s free!) and easy on the retinas.

Also, don’t eat spicy foods like hot banana peppers before bed. Spicy food can give you an electrified jolt of adrenaline and increase your body temperature, and if that doesn’t keep you awake, then it’s going to keep you up in your dreams while you’re fighting biomechanical spiders and saving princesses from rowdy dragons in tall castles.

So I might not be gross after all. My 4AM habits can easily be changed to 10PM habits when I decide to turn my electronics off a few hours before retreating to bed.