As workloads get heavier, life becomes faster-paced, and demands continue to overflow every day, it’s so easy to get stressed and forget about your health. One of the most overlooked aspects is sleep, which is important for overall well-being. So, how can you improve your sleep?
The solution to getting better night’s rest lies in a variety of factors, ranging from the comfort level of a mattress to the external environment of a bedroom, and more. If you’ve changed your mattress, bought more pillows, put in 800-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, and moved houses but still can’t seem to get unhampered shut-eye, then there’s probably one more thing you have to check: the presence of blue light.
Blue light has a lot to do with how well you sleep, especially when it comes to living in this technologically-dependent day and age.
What is blue light?
Blue light is a cooler tone of illumination that corresponds to certain light waves whose lengths are within the range of 400 to 490 nanometers (nm). Although it might seem like nonsense to hear that a simple light colour can have such a significant impact on your quality of slumber, the data says all we need to know just how much it can affect a person’s sleep.
Blue light transmits more energy per photon, leading to a different eye-light interaction. In comparison to other colours of light, blue light has been shown to penetrate deeper into the tissue of an eye, causing significant damage over prolonged periods of use (especially at the 415 to 455 nm range).
According to a 2018 study conducted on the relationship between blue light and vision, exposure to blue light can cause the melanopsin in a person’s retinal ganglion cells to change shape. Once the melanopsin protein changes shape, the ganglion cells transmit information to the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the brain’s anterior, which then impacts the body’s circadian rhythm.
What’s the link?
Blue light affects our sleep-wake cycles are impacted, making our body think that it’s daytime, which eventually prevents us from sleeping soundly at night. Blue light hampers a person’s sleep patterns because they penetrate the eye so deeply that it tampers with the body clock.
Where does blue light come from?
Generally, blue light can come from an abundance of light sources and technology, but one of its biggest sources is what we interact with almost every hour of the day: an electronic device.
The LEDs of every laptop, smartphone screen, tablet screen, and computer monitor produce light within the 400-490 nm range, which is essentially the blue screen that affects our circadian rhythm. Using electronic devices closer to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep as they generate a stimulation in our eyes that hampers the process of relaxation and descent into slumber.
When overlooked or simply unrecognized, blue light can continue to wreak havoc on the quality of your slumber every night for as long as you let it. The most effective way to prevent blue light from jolting your sleep patterns is to enforce a strict cutoff period for electronic devices an hour before bed. Ensure that you minimize your exposure to the screens of electronic devices as well. Doing so can help you get a better-quality sleep again. This is not always possible or the preferred option and where that it the case a blue light filter can step in and block 90% of the problem light.