Have you got the blues? Sleep, eye health and your screen's blue light



In this modern world, blue light emission is everywhere. Whether you like it or not, it’s going to always radiate its aura wherever you go. Blue light is emitted by electronic devices such as phones, tablets, and laptops.


Blue light, like almost everything else in existence, has its own set of downsides, despite its importance in our lives. Let's take a quick overview of what it is before we get into how it affects human health.


We all know about how gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet (UV) rays, visible light, infrared light, and radio waves make up the electromagnetic spectrum.


Out of them, it’s the visible light that we all can see through the human eye. This very blue light has the shortest wavelength (380-500 nm) of all the prime colours in the visible spectrum.


Blue light is everywhere. Outside, sunlight moves through the atmosphere. Shorter, higher energy blue wavelengths hit air molecules, scattering blue light. This is why the sky is blue. Your body requires blue light from the sun to regulate your natural sleeping and waking cycles. It's referred to as your circadian rhythm.


Blue light also helps raise alertness, response time, mood, and overall well-being. Smartphones and laptop computers emit blue light, as do energy-efficient fluorescent and LED lamps.


Blue Light Effects On Circadian Rhythms


Blue light inhibits the generation of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone necessary for proper sleep. During the day, this is what keeps you awake and rejuvenated. However, melatonin production at night helps you relax. Melatonin suppression might lead you to stay up later and sleep less than usual.


As a result, this directly affects our sleeping habits and patterns. Do we even have to mention how destructive it is to not get proper sleep?



Blue Light Effects On Eye Health


In addition to disrupting sleep, blue light heavily contributes to cutting down your sleep time. Your bed should not be used for anything else if you are trying to sleep. Blue light scatters more easily than other visible light. This unfocused visual "noise" diminishes contrast and can add to digital eye strain.


As a result, your sleepless nights only tend to get longer and affect your eyes in the process if you resort to using screens!


Too much exposure can result in reduced blinking, which leads to dry eye and eye strain as well. 2 hours of blue light exposure at night delays melatonin secretion. Thus, turning off electronic gadgets 3 hours before bed can exponentially provide relief from blue light effects on sleep.



Blue Light Effects On Kids


Kids are more susceptible to damage from blue light than adults. Their eyes can’t filter out blue light like ours. Too much screen time may cause obesity, headaches, tiredness, nearsightedness, and attention disorders. It also raises the risk of becoming astigmatic, myopic, or hyperopic as an adult.


Hence, early exposure to blue light will not only mess up their body systems by causing less melatonin release in comparison, but also host other risks in the meantime. Thus, it is crucial to limit screen time exposure for kids as much as possible. Hence, make sure to put away all electronic devices, including portable games, before bedtime for the kids.



Regardless of the dangers that blue light poses to our health, we rely on it every day. Preventative measures against blue light without proof of danger may have more unintended repercussions than blue light itself. Taking regular pauses is the best method to avoid eye tiredness induced by blue light from electronics. Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes or so, attempt to focus for 20 seconds on an object at least 20 feet away.


This content was provided by yours truly, Dig Detox. Our mission is to help people use technology safely as we believe health is our most valuable asset. For further articles, research, and information on the movement, please visit www.digdetox.com.

Sources

ICR

Medical News Today

BluelightExposed Health.Harvard

NCBI

Webmd

Healthline

Britannica

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