Artificial blue light is relatively new to us humans, and unfortunately as technology grows we are ironically becoming more and more exposed to the dun dun dun dun….Dark side of light!!
Exposure to blue light suppresses the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Blue light can also cause headaches, migraines and eye fatigue.
So what is blue light and where does it come from?
Devices such as Ipads, Smartphones, Computers, Fluorescent and LED lighting all emit high levels of blue light.
Chronic blue-light exposure has been shown to reduce our melatonin levels.
Melatonin is essential to the body to send us off to sleepy town.
When we have low levels of melatonin, it has a huge impact on our sleeping patterns and we cannot enter restorative sleep mode.
Humans generally only thrive under 3 types of light.
The Sun, The Moon and Fire!!
Think about it before the invention of electricity and light bulbs we all relied on natural light. The Sun setting signified winding down and prepared us for sleep. During this time the only light sources available to us were fire pits, candles and hand held kerosene lanterns.
So what about blue light from the Sun should we avoid this too?
Absolutely NOT! Every cell in our body is optimised to work with Sunlight.
When the Sun rises in the morning there is equal amounts of blue and red light present.
In fact blue light from the Sun is always balanced by red. You are never actually designed to see blue by itself.
So what’s the deal with people wearing funky orange glasses at night?,
Did Elton John and Bono know something all these years?
Have you ever noticed yourself bathed in the glow of your smartphone whilst sitting in a dark room?
This light is shining directly into your eyes, signalling to the brain. “HEY Brain its cool it’s day time!”
Your brain is like “well alrighty, I will back off with your melatonin production because clearly your not going to bed anytime soon.”
“Thanks brain you’re the best!”
Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant which helps ‘Cool Down’ excess inflammation in the body.(1)
Much like a Factory reset on your computer we need sleep to detox. Studies are now showing that a good nights rest literally clears the mind. (2)
Blue light blocking glasses are designed to help mitigate the risks associated with artificial blue-light. I.e checking Facebook, scrolling Instagram and text messaging at 9:30 at night.
Some orange glasses on the market are nothing more than ballistic safety goggles, so you need to make sure they are in fact doing their job.
My favourite Blue Blockers are Swannies. Swannies are super stylish and I actually feel comfortable walking around in them without looking like some creepy Sci-fi Nerd.
What other steps can I take to Mitigate Blue Light?
In my house at night time we avoid all light sources. I have salt lamps throughout the house that produce a warm orange glow.
I wear my Swannies right up until the last moment I get into bed. This includes brushing my teeth whilst looking like a rock star.
There are programs you can use on your computer to help take out the red light such as f.lux, Sunset screen and Iris.
I currently use IRIS, as this is the best in terms of not having any flicker.
Also it is has a reminder feature which alerts you to get your ass up and look away from the computer every 15-20 mins.
There are also apps for your phones Twilight for androids and Night Shift for Apple devices.
What is so bad about lighting it has been around for Years.
LED’s and fluorescent globes are some of the worst offenders when it comes to blue light. These are made by subtracting the “RED” to make them more energy efficient.
Incandescent lights the older style globes that unfortunately have been phased out did have both red and blue on the light spectrum.
Whilst it is seriously hard to avoid all types of lighting, headlights,street lights etc. There is no need to pack up and move to an underground hobbit house just yet.
It is however easy to introduce some of the steps above to help avoid blue light and get yourself sleeping like a baby.
Thats all for now