What is blue light and why is it important to know about?
Blue light is emitted from most electronics-- phones, TVs, computers, tablets and more.
There have been increasing studies released indicating negative health effects caused by blue light exposure.
We've written up a quick summary from an article released by Harvard Medical School of some of these effects.
How does blue light affect your health?
Blue light has been found, in multiple studies, to suppress the secretion of melatonin, which is what regulates our circadian rhythm and allows us to have normal sleep schedules. When circadian rhythms are altered, it can increase blood sugar levels and place people in a pre-diabetic state.
Altered circadian rhythms also reduce leptin. Leptin is a hormone that lets people feel full after a meal-- so with reduced leptin, most people eat more in order to feel satisfied.
Blue light, especially at night, is one of the reasons why people don't get enough sleep. Lack of sleep increases risk of depression, along with diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
What can you do to prevent the risks associated with blue light exposure?
1. Get enough natural light during the day (from the sun) if possible.
2. Use dim lights at night.
3. Avoid looking at bright screens or using electronics 2 - 3 hours before bed, or at least in the last hour before you sleep.
4. If you need to use an electronic device at night--- try using a blue light blocker.
- For your computer, try downloading a free app called f.lux.
This app alters the color of the light emitted from your computer. This does not completely shield you from the effects of blue light, but it helps! The app automatically goes on at sundown depending on your time zone, but you can keep the app on all day long if desired.
- If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can turn on "Night Shift", which is Apple's built-in version of a blue-light blocker. For instructions on how to do that, click here.
- You can use blue light-blocking sunglasses. You can purchase them online, such as on Amazon.
After recommending the free blue light blocker app (f.lux) to several people, we've been told that it has actually helped some with migraines or headaches for those that use a computer all day long.
Remember that your best health involves a variety of factors. Take care of yourself!