Electronic devices emit blue light, a type of radiation that can affect your health and disrupt your sleep. There is mounting scientific evidence that screen-time before bed can interrupt people’s natural sleep patterns. It may also be changing the way your brain functions, affecting moods and emotions. If you work around the clock on your electronic devices, there’s a high chance that the radiation is taking a toll on your sleeping pattern and health. This article will explain how blue light affects your sleep and what you can do to decrease its effects.
What is Blue Light?
Blue light is not just a color in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum – it provides us with information about color, depth, and texture. Low-frequency light waves have shorter wavelengths than other colors, meaning they can cause lasting damage to the DNA in our cells. It also affects the amount of rest your body gets at night by inhibiting melatonin. A study at Harvard Medical School revealed that blue light can repress the melatonin levels in your body. Melatonin promotes drowsiness by making you feel tired instead of alert or energetic. The circadian rhythm is your internal clock for when you are drowsy and when you want to wake up. Your body responds to natural cues such as sunlight each day to regulate these cycles. The amount of sunlight in the morning allows you to wake up naturally and go on with your day. When it gets dark at night, your body prepares for rest by decreasing the production of melatonin.
How Blue Light Affects Your Sleep
A study published by the University of Munich found that blue light suppresses melatonin even when your eyes are closed. It is particularly disruptive to sleep patterns because it can suppress melatonin while your eyes are open. It can get through the eyelid, which means it can suppress melatonin even when you are not looking at a digital device. This exposure also inhibits drowsiness and may make you feel more alert. Electronic devices have been shown to keep people awake late at night, especially when they are used right before bedtime. According to a blog on BlockBlueLight.com, if you suffer from migraines, sitting on your computer too long can trigger the attacks. It can suppress this process and delay your body’s circadian clock, which is responsible for regulating your natural sleep/wake cycle. You may experience an increase in alertness in your body and a delay in your sleep patterns. It can keep you awake later at night while also suppressing melatonin production. The exposure may affect people differently based on their circadian rhythms, which represents the cycle of 24-hour internal clocks in organisms that make up ecosystems.
Ways To Decrease The Effects
The harmful effects of artificial light at night were not realized until a few years ago when it was discovered that they cause circadian disruptions due to the increased use of high-luminance devices such as TVs and computers. Research suggests that using electronic devices at night can adversely affect a person’s health. The exposure may also negatively impact your general mood, learning capabilities, and memory power. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare against the negative side effects of blue light on your sleep:
- Electronic devices emit stronger signals when used in a dark room as opposed to well-lit rooms. Wear artificial-light blocking glasses when using a device with an LED screen at night.
- Avoid using computers and digital devices an hour before going to bed. If you can’t avoid using your devices at night, try dimming the brightness of your screens.
- People who use screens too much might not sleep so well. It can hurt their eyes and they might be tired all day. Sleep experts recommend turning down the brightness of your computer and television screens in general as well.
- Keep your room completely dark while sleeping by using blackout curtains or eye masks.
- To further reduce melatonin suppression from digital devices, keep them away from your bed by at least an arm’s length. If possible, keep these devices out of your bedroom entirely.
- Try to avoid sources of artificial light in the morning because it can impact your mood and energy levels negatively.
Insufficient rest can result in several health conditions, including weight gain, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure/hypertension, diabetes mellitus type 2, depression, and anxiety disorders. Being exposed to this type of radiation at night can affect your circadian rhythms that control your sleep patterns. People who are exposed to it at night are more likely to be awake till late hours. You should avoid looking at screens too close to bedtime or having them in your bedroom when possible.