We have computers, tablets, smartphones, or any gadget with a screen in our homes and most of us tend to take our smart devices with us in our beds at night. But you might be unaware of the fact that these screens emit blue light that can disturb your sleep and damage your eyes. There is enough evidence which proves that exposure to this blue light can disturb our natural sleep. Darkness is a natural cue to our bodies that it’s time for sleep, but we’re circumventing it by staring at bright screens for hours after the sun has gone down. In this article, I will give you a thorough explanation about blue light effects on your health and your sleep and how to protect yourself against it.
What is blue light?
Sun light consists of several visible colors. One of these colors is blue light. Blue light has the shortest wavelength and produces the highest amount of energy among the colors in the visible spectrum. That’s why blue light is often called High Energy Visible (HEV) blue light. The natural source of blue light is the sun. Other sources of blue lights include digital screens such as TVs, smartphones and computers. The human body uses blue light to regulate its internal “body clock” that affects your sleeping and waking time. Blue light effects on our body when we are exposed to it more than is necessary include problems going to sleep and eye damages.
Blue light effects on our health
Exposure to too much light at night when your natural body clock is telling you to go to sleep generally decreases the level ofmelatonin production in your body. Melatonin is the hormone that does all the chemistry work of controlling the rhythm of sleeping and waking. A high level of this hormone makes you feel sleepy, and a low level of it makes it harder to go to sleep.
Exposure to blue light effects can suppress the production of melatonin in your body. Low levels of melatonin can lead to insomnia and other sleep disorders. Blue light effects are worsened in prolonged exposures.
Since blue light has the shortest and highest energy wavelength, it creates more glare and flicker than the weaker wavelengths. Because of this, long exposure to blue light can damage eye sight and create headaches.
who are more susceptible to blue light effects?
All of us are vulnerable to the harmful effects of blue light. This is because using screens when there is no day light has become a part of our lives now. People who are exposed to the blue light for long hours, especially people who work night shift, are prone to the harmful blue light effects.
Children and teenagers from age 8 to 18 are more susceptible to the harmful effects of the blue light because they spend the majority of their time on their tablets or lap tops. The eyes of children under age 10 are still developing, and overexposing them to blue light could gravely affect their eyesight development.
How to lessen blue light effects on our health?
What you need to know is that blue light it self is not harmful. Overexposure to blue light is. Exposure to blue light during the day is actually what helps you to stay awake and alert, however, too much of it at night can disrupt your sleep.
The best thing to do is to avoid using your mobile device two to three hours before you go to bed. If you would like to read in your bed on an electronic device, you can turn down the brightness so that less blue light is emitted from the screen.
Also, you can use screen protectors on your tablet or smartphone that minimize glare and blue light. In addition, there are many application for mobile phones which are designed to lessen the amount of blue light emitted by your smart phone or tablet.
Take care to impose screen time limits on young children with mobile gadgets. Don’t allow them to play with their smartphones or tablets before bedtime, and restrict their gadget use time.