Managing Blue-light Exposure for Health and Sleep Protection
It is recommended that you wear blue light blocking sunglasses if you plan on looking at a screen during the night. There is more blue light exposure in today’s world from digital devices and energy-efficient light sources then there was in the past.
How nighttime blue light interferes with sleep
In recent years, much evidence has surfaced pertaining to the potential hazards of blue-wavelength light exposure. Blue light is an aggressive form of light that triggers sleeplessness according to scientific studies. Melatonin production is suppressed by blue light which compared to other wavelengths is twice as long.
It also alters circadian rhythms by twice as much. Your health can be impacted significantly if your body’s 24-hour circadian rhythms are interfered with. Interference can create issues with immune systems, cardiovascular, mood disturbance, metabolic, as well as disrupting cognitive function.
Unbalanced circadian rhythms cause you to feel, perform, and think at your worst putting your health at risk. A study of young healthy adults determined that blue light exposure in the hours of 9-11p.m. from computer screens:
- Reduced overall sleep time.
- Suppressed production of natural melatonin.
- Increased frequency of night-time awakenings and poor sleep quality.
- Eye damage: Increased chance of severe eye damage, more info here.
It was found that body temperature is prevented from dropping at night-time when the eyes are exposed to blue light. A major factor in sleep progression is the lowering of the body’s temperature. Normal circadian rhythms are disrupted by blue light because of elevated temperature which is equivalent to daytime levels. Daytime tiredness and a negative mood are experienced with the overexposure of blue-light during night-time hours.
Nighttime exposure to blue light is extremely harmful to circadian rhythms as well as sleep. Certain steps should be taken when managing blue light exposure.
- Supplements: As suggested by research, carotenoid, lutein, and zeaxanthin supplements can help strengthen the eye’s ability to naturally block blue light exposure.
- Software and apps that can filter blue-light: Blue-light exposure can be reduced during evening hours by various apps and software. Smartphones and tablets may already include blue-light filtering in their operating systems via installed apps.
- Glasses and filters for blue-light-blocking: For unwanted and untimed exposure to blue-light there are specific eyewear, screens, and filters available for protection.
- Specialty blue-light reducing bulbs: LED bulbs that can provide protective light that reduces blue-light exposure is an effective way to manage.
Not only the technology but every day habits can help prevent harmful exposure to blue light. During the day you should receive plenty of normal light exposure to help improve cognitive function, alertness and attention, and improved mood, which helps you get a good night’s sleep as well as strengthens circadian rhythms. A healthy and nourishing life routine would be to spend 10 or 15 minutes taking in natural sunlight in the morning, during the break, or during lunchtime.
Always remember that keeping device screens away from your face during nighttime hours is important. Having your face focused on your device right into bedtime and relaxing in front of the TV for a few hours in the evening are two totally different things.
Your media consumption should be gradually reduced the closer you get towards bedtime. You should always have a cut-off time for social media and electronic devices. According to scientific studies, video games, online games, interactive media, and social media can cause major sleep disruption.
Modern strategies and solutions are required to regulate blue-light exposure. Special attention must be given to help reduce your exposure to blue light. The various solutions that are available should be put to use to help protect your overall well-being and health.