Why You Should Avoid Blue Light before Bed
Why Avoid Blue Light before Bed
Sleep is as important as a balanced diet and exercise. Sleep deprivation is known to cause a lot of health complications, such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. Unfortunately, the advancement in technology has decreased the quantity and quality of our sleep time. As you may have guessed, the biggest culprit to blame for a poor night’s sleep is the artificial light that emits from electronics.
Our body’s internal clock, or the circadian rhythm, recognizes bright light as daytime and darkness as light time. So, when gadgets emit artificial light, your brain is still in the daytime zone. When the clock on your wall and the clock of your body don’t sync, you naturally experience disruptive sleep, which prevents your body from functioning at optimal levels.
Avoiding Blue Light at Night
As mentioned before, your body’s circadian rhythm is linked with many functions of your body. When your brain in the daytime zone, it prepares your body to stay awake and be productive. When your brain is in the nighttime zone, it prepares your body for sleep and gets you ready for the next day.
Your body’s internal clock is not like the clock on your wall. It adjusts itself according to daylight, which is how you easily adjust to a new time zone when you travel from one continent to another. When your eyeballs are exposed to artificial light, specifically blue light, your body’s internal clock gets tricked into thinking that it’s daytime.
For this reason, blue light should be avoided during the night, but for the same reason you should get blue light during the day too. Getting sunlight during the day will give you a boost of energy and will help you stay alert till darkness falls. Blue light, or sunlight, have been proven so effective for improving mood and performance that light therapy devices have been developed to treat depression. Some organizations install lights in their office with a hint of blue to improve their employees’ mood and performance, and reduce sleep and fatigue.
At nighttime, when you brain isn’t getting the proper signal it’s time to sleep, you end up experiencing poor sleep quality. Melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone, gets significantly suppressed because of blue light, which in turn can cause a number of health problems, such as metabolic syndrome, obesity and cancer.
So, the problem is simple enough: blue light disrupts sleep. This makes the solution simple enough as well: block all blue light. In the evening, you can wear amber-coloured glasses to avoid blue light. This way, your internal clock won’t shift back to daytime. In a study, different people were exposed to different lighting conditions and their levels of melatonin were observed.
The different lighting conditions were dim light, bright light and bright light + amber-coloured glasses. The people who were exposed to dim and bright light + amber-coloured glasses had the same levels of melatonin, while the bright light of course suppressed melatonin levels. Thus, the best remedy to avoid blue light is by investing in blue-blocking glasses.