Blue Light and Sleep: What’s the Connection?

If you want to reap the benefits of robust health, then getting sufficient sleep is paramount. Poor sleeping habits are linked to the development of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Unfortunately, sleep quality for most people has significantly reduced in the recent past. The reason for this is that blue light exposure has grown to astronomical levels due to the increased use of digital devices. The recommended 7-9 hours are now elusive to most techno-savvy individuals.

We will explore just how disruptive blue light is to your sleep and what you can do to get yourself some well-deserved sleep.

What is Blue Light?

Visible light that appears as white light is made up of a variety of differently coloured light rays. They include red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet in that order. On the red end, light has longer wavelengths and emits little energy while on the blue end; light has shorter wavelengths with high energy emission.

The major source for harmful blue rays is the sunlight and it is also produced by electronic digital devices like computers, smartphones, tablets, LED television flat-screens, and LED fluorescent bulbs.

Blue light is not all bad. Blue rays coming from the sun are everywhere during the day and offer you a couple of benefits. It helps in regulating your body’s biological rhythm, keeps you alert in daytime, boosts your energy level and cognitive functions also. In children, it helps in the development of eyes and vision.

How Does Blue Light Affect Sleep?

As mentioned, blue rays from the sun are carrying the load for regulating the body’s biological clock. The eye’s retina has photosensitive cells that sense the presence or absence of the blue light from the sun.

When the sun sets, the absence of the blue light triggers the brain to signal the pineal gland to secrete melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that tells the body that it’s tired and makes you drowsy. Melanopsin signals the brain to stop the melatonin production and you will wake up.

While natural blue light is essential for your body to run properly, blue light from digital devices isn’t.  Exposure to blue light at night creates confusion to the brain as it thinks it’s still day time. Production of melatonin is therefore put down. You choose to wake in late night as a result and sleep doesn’t come easily even after switching off your device.

Lack of enough sleep is bound to cause a less productive day, dark circles around the eyes, foul moods and not to forget the aforementioned diseases associated with poor sleeping habits.

Disruption of sleep isn’t the only effect of the blue light on our bodies. Overexposure also adversely affects your eyes because of the eyes’ photosensitive cells and causes conditions such as digital eye strain and macular degeneration. It also affects the skin and causes you to age even faster.

How Can You Guard Your Sleep Against Blue Light Disruption?

You can take the following measures to ensure you are protected from artificial blue light exposure at night and you get a full night’s rest:

Get Screen Protectors for Your Devices

Screen protectors are made of glass and are fitted onto smartphones, tablets, and computer screens to block or absorb blue light from the display. They are made from tempered glass that will protect your smartphone and tablets from breakages and scratches.

Get Protective Eyewear

Blue light filtering glasses are tinted amber or orange and are able to block off all blue light from the screen you are using. What’s more, they are available in stylish designs to ensure you look dapper.

Dim the Brightness of Your Devices

Bright screens emit more blue light so reduce their brightness when it starts to get dark out. Most devices have a dark mode to help you have a comfortable viewing experience. Buy LED bulbs with a lower voltage to reduce the glare of bright bulbs or reduce the number of bulbs in a room.

Don’t Sit Too Close to Your Screen

Maintain an arm’s length distance from your screen to ensure you don’t expose yourself to the full blast of the blue light.

Reduce Screen Time at Night

Experts recommend that for you to have an easier time sleeping, you’ll need to stop screen use 2-3 hours before you go to sleep.

Use Red or Orange Lighting Instead

For reading, get red or orange lamps to completely eliminate blue light. These are the colours that have the least effect on the circadian rhythm. You can also go the old-fashioned way and use a candle.

Prevention is better than cure so take steps today to save your health by reducing blue light exposure. Visit us at Ocushield and choose from our wide selection of products.

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