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Can't Sleep - could it be your blue light use?

Blue Light: an electromagnetic radiation and portion of the visible light spectrum. Found in todays world all around us; from florescent lights, electronic devices, to the sun!

So why is it so important to limit this type of light as the evening approaches? Through history our circadian rhythms have been closely tied to the sunrise and sunset of the day. Light plays an important roles within creating our circadian rhythm and blue light has the largest effects.

Unlike our ancestors we have been given the ability to create this type of light through artificial means. Increasing our exposure throughout the day, which in turn can become a double edge sword.

Though blue light gives us many benefits from:

  • Alertness

  • Elevating body temperature and heart rates

  • Improving our performance and attention during the day

  • Realigning a persons circadian rhythms for better sleep (when done therapeutically)

  • Suppressing the release of natural melatonin

It can also be detrimental to our sleep and health, if over exposed and out of schedule. This occurs mainly when we continue to stare at screens once the sun goes down - the blue light can trick your mind into believing it is still day time. Thus disrupting your circadian rhythm creating many different health impacts from:

  • Metabolic disorders

  • Hormone production

  • Depression

  • Mental health issues.

Common sources of blue light in our lives:

  • Fluorescent lights

  • LED lights

  • Smartphones

  • Televisions

  • Computer screens

  • Tablets

  • E-readers

  • Video game consoles

So what is the best way to give our bodies the best zzz's possible? Here are a few simple ways to mitigate blue light effects:

  • Reduce use of florescent and LED's later into the evening. You can do this by dimming your lights, switching bulbs to a red/orange light, or utilizing fire and candlelight.

  • Turn off electronic devices or switch them to sleep mode if you tend to use them later into the evening. Most electronics now have apps you can download that place sleep mode on a timer, this is great because it will kick in 2 - 3 hours before bed - getting your body ready for a good night sleep.

  • Use specialty glasses such as blue - light - blocking or amber glasses to help reduce exposure if you working late into the evening.


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