When it comes to your health, sleep plays an important factor in making sure you stay healthy and productive. However, not everyone gets to have the best sleep they can. Lighting could be the reason for that. Science has already proven that improper management of light and sleep could lead to a lot of health problems. Evidence has supported that certain types of light, blue light especially, can have adverse effects on hormone balance and circadian rhythms.
What Is Blue Light?
So now the question is, “What exactly is blue light and how does it affect your sleeping pattern?”
Blue light is everywhere—it is the kind of light present in our mobile devices, digital clocks, laptops, and the biggest source of all, the sun. It is the kind of light that tells our body to be alert and helps to regulate melatonin production—by stopping it.
Melatonin is not only a supplement sold at drugstores, but it is a natural hormone that our body produces. Also known as the “sleep hormone,” melatonin helps in making you fall asleep and works together with the body’s circadian rhythm. Because of that, if blue light ceases melatonin production, your body’s internal clock is also disrupted.
Blue light can have its advantages. Since Thomas Edison’s patent in 1879 of the electric light, people relied mostly on lanterns, fires, and candles for light since artificial light didn’t exist then. Over the years, artificial light has seen some dramatic changes from candles to laptop screens.
Since then, humans have begun to understand how artificial light can affect overall health. Blue light is known to improve mood, energy, and alertness. It also helps with cognitive functions and memory and regulates the body’s natural sleep and wake cycle, or the circadian rhythm. However, overexposure to this kind of wavelength can be harmful and could result in a lack of sleep.
Blue Light Hacks to Improve Health and Productivity
Blue light, when used during the day, is beneficial in a lot of ways. As a matter of fact, most doctors use the timing of carbohydrate intake and blue light to help regulate cortisol and other hormones. Some perform blue light therapy on patients who are having sleep disorders and seasonal affective disorders.
Blue light is neither good nor bad, but the amount of time spent and the timing of exposure make a difference. Here are some hacks to help optimise blue light:
Choose your eyewear properly
For most people, spending a lot of time in front of their laptops or other digital devices is inevitable. One solution to control blue light is by using anti-blue light glasses. In today’s market, there are many lenses that promise to minimise exposure to this harmful light, so it is ideal to consult a professional regarding this.
Avoid exposure at least two hours before bedtime
Blue light stops melatonin production at night, so two hours before bedtime, steer clear of any mobile devices, laptops, or TV screens.
Change your lighting
Putting down your phone or watching TV before bedtime may be a struggle, but with today’s innovations, there are some settings that can help protect you against blue light. You can use the Night Mode app on your phone or upgrade the lighting in your home or office.
Since you cannot put down your phone, take your eyes off your laptop or look away from the iPad consider installing blue light filters. They can help dramatically reduce the amount of exposure you have.
Keeping a balance between productivity with the demands of life can be challenging, especially in this busy world we live in. However, doing small steps can go a long way. Start by getting the best blue light protection for your digital devices.