Blue light plays an important role in helping to regulate our internal clocks. It helps to boost your alertness and mental sharpness. However, blue light can also have a detrimental effect on the quality of your sleep. Fortunately, blue light is easy to reduce to promote better rest.
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light refers to the specific wavelengths of the light spectrum that our eyes perceive as the color blue. These waves are between 400-525 nanometers, greater than ultraviolet light but lower than other colors on the visible spectrum. Conversely, it has a higher energy than other visible light.
How Does Blue Light Affect Us?
Blue light’s energizing properties can make it harder for us to fall asleep at night. Exposure slows the production of a hormone called melatonin that makes us tired. Since our eyes do not block blue light well, exposure to it after the sun goes down can have a negative effect on your natural sleep and wake cycle.
What Are the Effects of Blue Light Exposure?
Exposure to blue light before bedtime can cause your sleep to be lower quality than it otherwise would. Disruptions to the sleep and wake cycle can have long-term effects on your overall health, such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
How Can I Reduce Blue Light in My Routine?
The sources of most blue light in your home are things like televisions, gaming systems, and cell phone screens. Reducing the use of electronic devices two to three hours before bedtime encourages the production of melatonin and allows you to get to sleep easier. Also be sure to dim the brightness on your screens with night mode or dark mode.
Some smartphones and tablets have apps available that help filter the blue light without sacrificing the quality of the image. Finally, if you use a nightlight, switch the white bulb out for a red one. Red light affects your circadian rhythm the least, helping you sleep better.
Chesapeake Sleep Center
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061