6 min read
By now, it is clear that blue light is increasingly becoming a health concern as we continue to exposed to it every day. We have also established that blue light has significant effects on our health, with the main being the negative impact on our quality and quantity of sleep by affecting our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm can be affected by factors such as hunger, medication, temperature, and light.
The circadian rhythm is the reason behind the energy, hunger, or feelings of being tired that occur during different points and times of the day as it regulates the production of different hormones and chemicals in our bodies such as melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for regulating our sleeping cycle, making us sleepy when awake and awake when sleepy. When the sun sets, our circadian rhythm will pick up the reduced levels of blue light and trigger the production of melatonin, which will put us to sleep.
The blue light produced by the sun places a significant influence on our sleep and circadian rhythm. This is because our bodies associate blue light with daylight and therefore creating an expectation of hours of activity. However, our bodies are incapable of distinguishing artificial blue light from natural blue light. While our circadian rhythm will not be affected during the day, it will suffer immensely during the night when preparing our bodies for sleep.
Our circadian rhythm is why we tend to feel tired, hungry, or energized at different points during the day – they are controlled and created by our biological clock. Circadian rhythm can cause the release of different chemicals and hormones in our bodies.
Sleep is important to our bodies, and high-quality sleep goes beyond how awake or tired we feel. Poor sleep hygiene will include:
- - The use of devices immediately before bed
- - Sleeping on an uncomfortable bed
- - Taking caffeine or alcohol before bed
- - Irregular sleeping hours
- - Waking up for regular night activities
Poor sleep hygiene is likely to cause negative health effects such as
- - Poor mental health
- - Decreased fertility
- - Poor immune system
- - Diabetes
- - Heart problem
- - Weight control issues
The rule of thumb regarding the prevention of the effects of artificial blue light is cutting usage of all devices about an hour to bed. This will be both simple and difficult for others to follow, such as in the case of individuals who will want to watch TV in bed before sleeping.
While there is no proven way to help cut down one's exposure to blue light, having a pair of blue light blocking glasses during the day and at night when using digital devices will help block blue light waves, reducing your exposure to blue lights and the negative effects associated with it and especially on your sleep.