There are times when you calculate everything right to keep your schedule intact. You watch the food, exercise regularly, and meditate too so you can have quality sleep nights. However, some small things you do to relax can cost you some sleep time—for example, use of mobile phone and other electronic gadgets before bedtime.
How do electronic devices keep you awake at night? That's all because of blue light. Blue light is a visible light spectrum, and human eyes can see it. It is a short wavelength and produces intense energy. Apart from smartphones, other blue light sources are laptops and televisions.
Exposure to light is good, and some amount of revelation is good. However, just like excess junk food is bad for health, exposure to light more than our body can handle is bad for your sleep cycle. Sleep and exposure to junk light also affect your performance, energy, and ability to feel. If you can learn to manage exposure to sunlight, it'll improve sleep time and quality, performance, and energy during the day.
In today's world, light is everywhere, and we can't do anything but take measures to protect ourselves. Thus, you have to seek darkness for a good night's sleep and keep yourself healthy. With so much digital advancement, we're exposed to a lot of blue-wavelength than ever before. How is blue light significant to sleep, though?
How Blue Light Disrupts Sleep
Sleep Science research experts have found evidence of how blue light is harmful. Studies say that blue light aggressively promotes sleeplessness and keeps you awake. Exposure to light suppresses the composition of melatonin. But blue light suppresses the melatonin production twice compared to other lights. Exposure to excessive blue light also alters the circadian rhythm twice. Circadian rhythm is the internal sleep-wake cycle in our body that repeats every 24 hours.
The alteration in the circadian rhythm can cause serious adverse effects on health. It creates various physical problems, including metabolic, cardiovascular, immune systems, mood fluctuation, and compromise on cognitive function. When the circadian rhythm is out of control, the body performance, mood, thinking, and everything fluctuates in the wrong way putting your body at different health risks.
Another study in young adults exposed to light between 9 AM and 11 PM found it hard to fall asleep, be asleep, changes in circadian rhythm, less melatonin production, and increased nighttime awakenings. Sleep Science researchers also found a drop in temperature for those exposed to blue light more than usual. When the temperature doesn't drop in your body, you feel hot at night and can't sleep easily. Thus, body temperature needs to go down at night as it is an indication of sleep.
This exposure of blue light to these young minds did not help them sleep better at night but only made their conditions worse. After continuous exposure to blue light, the circadian rhythm was not in its best form; participants were tired and sleepy during the day. The participants also experienced more negative moods than usual.
The takeaway here is not to be exposed to blue light at night as it disrupts the sleep cycle and circadian rhythms. Also, to manage blue light, you can use some red light exposure in the evening. The use of red light at dusk will cut down the effects of blue light and help you go back to sleep. However, before using red light, try cutting the exposure of blue light. It is advised to use red light exposure in the evening against blue light as a last resort as there are benefits of blue light too.
What are the Benefits of Blue Light Filter?
We have already established blue light exposure is not suitable for health at night, backed with facts. However, exposure to blue light is good during the day. Especially when exposed to blue light in the morning and early afternoon. There are several reasons to support this statement below:
- It speeds up reaction times
- It reduces daytime sleepiness
- It elevates alertness levels in the body
- It strengthens attention span and focus
Research also suggests you shouldn't absorb blue light for long. A 30-minute exposure to blue light in the morning is enough to keep you energized throughout the day. Such a small amount of exposure to blue light leads to better working performance and faster reactions. However, not every other kind of light can do that, but only blue light exposure for such a short span.
How to Regulate Blue Light Exposure
There are different ways you can regulate exposure to blue light. Simple changes and inclusions like bulbs, filters, and supplements can do that. Below are some ways to control blue light exposure.
A study suggests using carotene supplements as it strengthens the ability of the eyes to block blue light. Our vision has its shield against blue light known as the retinal pigment epithelium. It is a thin layer near the retina. The epithelial layer protects the eye against macular degeneration by acting as a filter for blue light. Carotene supplement provides strength to this layer so it can repel blue light exposure as much as possible.
Filtering apps and software
You can find various apps on phones and software to install on computers and laptops to reduce blue light exposure. Many electronic gadgets have the option to minimize blue light exposure in-built in their operating system itself. You can use these options to reduce blue light exposure in the evening to sleep better at night.
Another effective way to manage blue light exposure is to use LED light bulbs. These bulbs provide a specific kind of light that's suitable for both day and night. Some organizations make these energy-efficient LED light bulbs keeping the circadian rhythm a part of the manufacturing process. These bulbs minimize the harmful effects of light at night and strengthen us during the day.
Is There Any Other Way to Sleep Better at Night?
After a long day of blue light exposure, there's nothing much to do other than lying down on a bed and drifting off to sleep. However, blue light can make that difficult, but a cooling mattress can be helpful. Your body temperature will go down, helping you to fall asleep quicker. To know which the best mattress against blue light exposure is, visit a mattress store.
For example, at Mancini's Sleepworld, you can book an appointment with a sleep expert who will help you pick the best mattress to solve all your sleeping problems. Mancini's Sleepworld also provides fantastic discounts and offers with sleeping accessories.