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How Blue Light Affects Sleep and How to Limit Exposure
A study by National Sleep Foundation found that 90% of Americans report using an electronic device in their bedroom within an hour of trying to fall asleep. We are all connected to technology, tv, smartphones, laptops. Most of us complain of difficulty sleeping. Do you know why? Continue reading.
Screens on these devices can transmit blue light that interferes with our natural sleep cycles. Decreasing exposure to light in the evening, and blue light, in particular, is an essential way to help your body naturally prepare for sleep.
What is blue light?
Light is composed of electromagnetic radiation, which is an invisible form of energy. Our eyes interpret colors of light based on the amount of energy they contain. For example, rainbows show us the entire spectrum of visible light. White light, like the light emitted by the sun, is the combination of all the colors of the visible light spectrum.
Blue light is a portion of the visible light spectrum that can have unique effects on alertness, hormone production, and sleep cycles. This wavelength of light is emitted by LED and fluorescent lights, as well as many electronic devices. (Sleep Foundation)
How do blue lights affect sleep?
Exposure to all colors of light helps control your natural sleep-and-wake cycle or circadian rhythm. More so than any other color, blue light messes with your body’s ability to prepare for sleep because it blocks a hormone called melatonin that makes you sleepy.
Harvard researchers and their colleagues experimented with comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of equivalent brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).
How to limit exposure?
- Use red lights for night lights. Red light is less likely to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.
- Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed.
- Consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night, if work in a nightshift
- Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.
Often, people find it difficult to fall asleep, even though they might follow all of the tips above. It takes time to see the result. For a better sleep experience and mental clarity, we suggest Somax.
Somax contains a combo of ingredients that work by boosting your body’s production of neurotransmitters that help you sleep and relax.