1The Purple Break

  • Q. Are you ever tired? Ever wake up tired? Have that mid-afternoon lull? Go to bed tired?
  • A. You probably need a Purple Break.

What’s a Purple Break? A Purple Break is a unique technique that my father, Ken Baldridge, developed to restore energy and ignite action.

Dad was in a sleep study in the 1960s where he was instructed to sleep in a room in total darkness for three months. During the day, he could work as he usually did, but as part of the study, thick black drapes were put on the windows of his bedroom so he could sleep in total darkness.

He noticed, gradually, over time, that he was feeling more energetic and less fatigued. He wondered why. He learned that there is a protein in your eyes called rhodopsin, also called visual purple, known to break down in bright light, which causes fatigue. It is restored by total darkness. (For more information about rhodopsin and fatigue on the job, see the Appendix.)

After the study was complete, he found he only needed to sleep three to five hours a night and felt terrific! But as he began traveling to colleges to speak and meet with his clients (he was the founder of the Baldridge Reading and Study Strategy programs) he noticed that he needed more and more sleep. As a dynamic educator and driven entrepreneur, this was frustrating to him.

He realized that the reason he required more sleep was because he was sleeping in hotels where the exterior light could stream through curtains that were thin. Also, there were ...

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