New perspective on Physio, Health & Wellness

Why Blue Light From Our Screens Is a Sleep Killer

Why Blue Light From Our Screens Is a Sleep Killer
Are you aware of how blue light can seriously impact your sleep? Image courtesy of @Visualmobs on Instagram

Did you know that blue-light emitted from most electronic screens can effect your sleep quality?

With our reliance on smartphones, TVs, desktops and laptops at an all time high, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important.

Sleep.

Or more importantly – good quality sleep.

How often do you use your device before going to sleep?

It may be time to reconsider.

 

Why Is Blue Light Bad?

Research indicates that the blue light emitted from our devices can reduce production of Melatonin – an important hormone for sleep and wake cycle regulation.

We produce melatonin as night falls to prepare our body for sleep. As light starts to filter through again in the morning Melatonin production reduces and our sleep cycle ends.

Staring at a screen before going to sleep effectively stuffs our Melatonin production into a sack an beats it with a stick. You might still sleep your usual hours but the quality sucks.

It’s an important idea to be aware of.

Shawn Stevenson, author of the book “Sleep Smarter” and host of The Model Health Show has this to say;

“They found that for each hour of exposure to blue light, melatonin would be suppressed for approximately 30 minutes…

Going to bed without normal melatonin production results in devastatingly poor sleep cycles, and not being able to fully rejuvenate your brain and body. But that’s just scratching the surface…

Suppressed melatonin disrupts the normal function of virtually ALL other hormones in your body. Hormones related to weight management, digestive function, and immune system function…

Interfering with your body’s production of melatonin increases the risk of cancer, obesity, gut dysbiosis, diabetes, and more. This integral hormone matters a lot, and something clearly needs to change.”

 

How To Protect Yourself From Blue-Light

The obvious one is to try and ween yourself off the tech immediately before going to bed or at least once you’re in bed.

Secondly it’s interesting to note that there are a number of blue light blocking apps that filter out the suppressive blue light.

Most Android (drop down feature) and Apple (Night Shift) phones now have a feature to assist this.

For laptop and desktop devices Shawn recommends the use of the app f.lux. As the sun goes down, the app will start to remove the blue light from your screen.

There are a number of Android apps that do the same thing.

I’m personally using the Twilight app and find it very useful.

Most are pretty simple and can be a paused for times where accurate colours are important – work, screenshots etc. Quite nifty.

This is just another example of how the modern world may leave a subtle, yet potentially nasty legacy on our health and well-being. At least consider giving this a try, for such a simple idea you may be pleasantly surprised at it’s impact on your life.

Have you taken any steps to reduce your exposure to blue light? If so what would you recommend?

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