Waking up fresh and energetic is something we all have experienced at one point or the other, but have you ever wondered why it happens? The major factor here is the blue light. It is a high-intensity light that comes from the sun. In the visible spectrum, the blue wavelength is the most powerful one. It even can affect your body’s sleep-wake cycle. But that’s not all.
The blue light coming from an artificial source has equal strength and the same effects on your body. Too much of either can boost your mental sharpness and alertness even you need to rest your body. This is what usually leads to insomnia.
It is an established fact that sleep is an essential requirement to lead an optimally healthy life. But based on the rising trend of increased use of technology and screens, it is evident that sleep is going to be compromised. Not only are people sleeping lesser today, but also the quality of sleep has been affected. Unhealthy sleep then leads to more problems like depression, obesity, and heart diseases.
One leading factor in this increasing problem is the excessive dependence on electronics and artificial lighting. The blue light emitted by these devices makes our brains think that it is, in fact, daytime. And almost every other person who has taken his complaint about eyesight to an ophthalmologist got the same reply: use special eyewear- blue light blocking glasses.
Earlier, they used to suggest reducing the use of screens and artificial light sources but that seems to be quite difficult to work on by each passing day as almost everything has become dependent on these devices. Therefore, it becomes inevitable to avoid such electronics. The blue light from these devices tells our brain that it is still day, and therefore, it must remain active. This causes disruption in our natural sleep-wake cycle which in turn affects our health in general.
This article focuses on how blocking blue light at night can help you have better sleep and have a healthier life.
Blue Light Affects Our Sleep
Our bodies are designed with a built-in clock called ‘biological sleep cycle’ or ‘circadian rhythm.’ This 24-hour cycle is a natural control in our body that tells us when is the right time for our body to be asleep or awake. This cycle, however, can be influenced by external signals. The most significant signal is the level of light or dark outside that probes the body to adjust according to that signal.
Among all the wavelengths that our eyes receive, blue light can affect our internal clock by sending signals to our brain through sensors in our eyes. During the daytime, receiving blue light from the sun is essential for keeping us alert and staying active and productive.
One of the main problems with today’s devices and light bulbs is that they produce a pretty large amount of blue light, which can easily affect the internal clock upon extensive exposure.
In the darkness, melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland in our body, which signals our body that it is tired and should sleep. Blue light inhibits the production of this hormone. As a result, your sleep is affected adversely, and that, in turn, impacts the quality of your life.
Studies even say that melatonin suppression as the sun goes down can lead to multiple health-related problems such as depression, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.
How to Block Blue Light at Night?
The most commonly suggested way to remediate blue light-related issues is the reduced use of screens that emit this blue light. All electronics such as smartphones, televisions, laptops, and computers should be turned off well before bedtime. However, as our lives get entangled around the gadgets, it becomes more and more difficult to cut them off at any time we want. Therefore, we need more than just one obvious solution to the problem. Here are a few that we think can be very helpful:
Blue light blocking glasses
Almost every eyeglasses store today is selling these in the light of our mutual dilemma. The best options in those are the ones with the amber-tinted or brown-tinted lenses.
Reduce Brightness on Devices
Today, almost every other app offers dark mode or night mode. It makes the layout of your entire app dark from white and stops the blue light from emitting to a great extent.
Install Apps to Filter Blue Light
Apps are available on smartphones and computers that filter blue light and stop it from reaching you while keeping the display the same as before.
Change Your Light Bulbs
Fluorescent bulbs give off less blue light than the LEDs, while incandescent bulbs emit even lesser blue light.
Use of Dim Red Light Bulbs
The red color is known to have the least amount of effect on our biological clock, which is we recommend that you use the dim red light bulbs at night instead of any other color.
Cut back on before-bed screen time
Try to stop using your devices a couple of hours before your bedtime. That will give your body enough time to cope with the effects of screen light before your bedtime.
Sleep masks can Help
If you cannot bring changes in your room when it comes to your light bulbs or darkening your room, the simplest and readily useful tip for individual use is the use of face masks. The clothed covers over your eyes can easily block out all lights and help you sleep peacefully at night.
The Bottom Line
Blue light is essential for us to help us go about our day, but the same blue light can be quite problematic if we are excessively exposed to it after the sun goes down. Glasses that block blue light can be quite useful for those who have to use screens at night or in the dark. They can help in improving sleep quality.