Smartphones and screens emit luminous blue light so you can see the display, even on the sunniest days. Turns out the blue light from the screen is causing all kinds of crazy.
Kids. Sleep, Depression and Blue Light
The Journal of Childhood Development released the results of an imperative study in the summer of 2017. They focused on the connection of screen exposure at night and how that affects kids’ willingness to go to bed and their ability to sleep. This makes sense to us at Tech Wellness. Not just because kids are now actively texting, going on social media and having trouble going to bed, but it’s the screens themselves.
Ultimately, the wavelengths of blue light that screens emit, impact their ability to create melatonin—which can have emotional effects as well as keep them from sleeping.
That Same Blue Light from Computer Screens Affects Adult Sleep Patterns And Depression Too
Blue light suppresses the production of a sleep-regulating hormone known as melatonin. A research project of adults form 37 to 75 showed how Circadian rhythm disruption had a big effect on well-being.
Melatonin is a Mighty Hormone
Lack of melatonin has been linked to not only problems with sleep, but inflammation, immune function, and even cancer. Green Med Info has a stunning list of 415 abstracts of Melatonin studies.
We studied the research and found that melatonin, which is a hormone, produces a number of health benefits in terms of your immune system. It's a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger that helps combat inflammation. Lack of melatonin can cause your thymus gland, a key component of your immune system, to atrophy.
We found an entire report linking Melatonin to an impressive array of anti-cancer benefits. Melatonin inhibits the proliferation of a wide range of cancer cell types, as well as triggering cancer cell apoptosis (self-destruction). The hormone also interferes with the new blood supply tumors require for their rapid growth (angiogenesis). It can even help chemotherapy be more affective and lower the toxicity.
Blue Light and Your Beautiful Body's Time Clock
Bright blue light can also affect our circadian rhythms, our internal clock—something that’s being talked about a lot lately as a really important key to our health and well-being. Turns out that bright lights in the evening hours can throw off your body clock, confusing your brain into thinking it’s still daytime.
The best way to prevent the blue light from suppressing your melatonin production or changing your circadian rhythms is to cut back on using your phones, computers or tablets at night. The National Sleep Foundation Recommends powering down all devices 2 hours before bed OR you can try any of these great blue light blocker options Check out the link for curated Blue Blockers in all forms and price ranges.
Blue Light And Feeling Hungry
Oh my. Could it be possible—could your phone be causing you to eat when you're body doesn't need to??
By measuring blood glucose and insulin levels, scientists determined that exposure to blue light from LED lighting led to an increase in hunger after just 15 minutes of exposure and get this, was still present 1.75 hours later! Yikes ! And, blood levels showed altered glucose metabolism. The story here
Blue Light and Those Amazing Eyes
Digital eye strain. Just thinking about it, you feel me. UGH! Just like our eyes weren't meant to stare at the sun hours on end, they're not meant to stare at a blue-light filled screen all day.
Our eyes use muscles and like any other muscle in our body and they get tired from over-use. Staring at computers, smart phones and tablets play a major part in your eye exhaustion.
And tired, strained eyes are just the beginning of the digital blue light effects. Research on blue light and eyes is now revealing a connection to damage like macular degeneration and even melanoma.
So, let's take care of those peepers! Less Eyes on Screens. And when we do, let's take some precautions. I just saw my optometrist and he advised for every 20 minutes on screen—at least a one minute break. We also talked about computer glasses and blue light blockers.
Blue Light Blocking Orange Glasses
There have been a couple of studies done on the efficacy of the orange glasses. One in 2014 shows that teenagers who wore orange-tinted glasses a few hours before sleep were significantly sleepier then without the glasses.
We put them to the test in our office after 4 pm (which happens to be the best time to start). Lot’s of team members reported their eyes simply felt more relaxed as they looked at computer screens. I should mention, blue light stimulates your brain—which is a good thing in the morning and afternoon.
Tip: Wear Blue Blockers at Night
The real issue at hand is to avoid the blue light in the evening and at night!
We offer these on Tech Wellness. If you want to try the orange glasses, make sure you are getting glasses that have been tested for their ability to block blue light.
For the Sweetest Sleep Watch Out for any Light
This Blue Light has so much power, even closing your eyes won't keep it out--once you're all cuddled in and ready to sleep, make sure to turn all devices off. Research has shown that our eyes can detect blue light, even through closed eyelids—also adding to the repression of melatonin production.
And ditch a bright nightlight. Believing daytime has arrived, your biological clock instructs your pineal gland to immediately cease its production of melatonin. Regardless if you encounter the light on for an hour or for just a few seconds, the effect is the same—and your melatonin pump doesn't turn back on when you flip the light back off. When you turn on a light at night, you immediately send your brain misinformation about the light-dark.
Blue Light and Your Skin
Research show’s the blue light glow that’s coming from the screen we’re bending over to look at is also affecting that gorgeous face of yours! We all know how sunlight affects our skin—the sunlight spectrum consists of UV, Visible and infrared light. So, in the visible part of the spectrum lies the blue/violet band is what’s known HEV.
Although HEV is part of daylight, we’re getting so much more of it and in focused doses,-now that our world is overcome with tablets, smartphones, computers, and an overall abundance of technology.
Not great because research is showing that screen glow contributes to aging and revs up hyperpigmentation! Thankfully we can do something about it. Start with less time in front of your screens, and follow with a special skin care product designed to fight the onslaught of the blue glow.
TOP 10 Blue Light Hacks
- Reduce your blue light exposure 2-3 hours before bed
- Invest in a pair of orange-tinted glasses: keep deskside and bedside.
- Give Nightshift a whirl on your iPhone
- Change bedroom lighting to LED lights that adjust to warmer tones
- Use screens that are not backlit (like some e-readers).
- TV is preferable for reading than your phone or tablet because it is farther away-plus you're skin's safer, the further you are from a screen.
- Be mindful of how close your iPhone reading is done and set yourself evening time limits on small devices
- Turn your screen light level down altogether and perhaps invest in a blue blocking film that goes over your phone, tablet or laptop screen.
- Install Flux on your Computer Screen, which works like NightShift
- Create a dark sleeping space-try the soft glow of a salt lamp for warm nightlight.