The effects of sleep on your health affects your immune system, digestion, and even the possibility of developing disorders like cancer and diabetes.
This is why it’s vital to ensure you get the correct amount of sleep every night. Many medical professionals have emphasized this repeatedly – the importance of getting proper sleep. However, in this article, I’ll be focusing on one specific piece of the sleep hygiene puzzle that often goes overlooked – the blue light emitted by our favorite electronic device.
Reasons why you must avoid blue light at bedtime!
Our electronic displays are now almost inevitable for the single reason that the world becomes more technology driven with each new day.
Many individuals like falling asleep with the television on at night. The background sound somewhat calms them as they drift off to sleep. On the other hand, some people can’t bear the sound of the TV at nighttime, but most will check their e-mail, facebook or other social media before turning in. Others prefer to play a game on their phone or read a book on their iPad before falling asleep.
All these are daily habits of most people, but the problem is that every single one of these habits inhibit our sleep cycle.
Our circadian rhythm is disrupted by the blue light emitted by electronic displays.
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. You might not be consciously bothered by this, but subconsciously you’re mental and physical health is being damaged. Natural light alone, can interrupt sleep and damage your health all on its own.
Nevertheless, electronic displays emit low-wavelength light. This means that they have more blue light than natural light. And no wavelength interferes with the production of sleep-inducing melatonin more than blue light.
As a matter of fact, we humans have unique ganglion cells, which perform only one function – creating melatonin in the absence of any blue light.
Remember that melatonin is your primary sleep hormone and it’s regulated by light. It tells the body when to go to sleep and when to wake up.
However, melatonin does more than that. Each cell in your body has its very own circadian rhythm, and this rhythm is controlled by blue light.
To put it differently, when you look at any electronic screen before bedtime, every system within your body thinks it’s wakeup time. Your brain synapses begin firing, your digestive system starts up, your kidneys kick into function, etc.
Blue light at night is partly responsible for your midnight trips to the toilet.
When you stare at any blue light before going to bed, it interrupts a whole slew of systems. This way, you’re not able to rest as you should, you’re always tired when you wake up in the morning, and the worse thing is that this cycle compounds and builds upon itself daily.
Here’s how you can avoid blue light before bedtime.
This might seem a bit cumbersome and in some cases unrealistic, but one of the best things you can do for your health is to shut off all your electronic screen displays when the sun goes down!
Although, certain E-book readers like the Kindle uses e-ink and not active light sources, you might not have the time to always use your favorite programs in the little time space between coming back from work and sunset.
Therefore, for this reason you should shut down your displays an hour prior to going to bed, thereby allowing all of your organs rest and time to recharge for the next day.
If you must look at your electronic screens at night, perhaps due to your type of work, then consider installing programs on your computers and your phones that filter out blue light for nighttime viewing. There are many choices available, like Twilight for Android or f.lux for MacOS.
Conclusion, if you want to maintain good health you MUST reduce the amount of blue light you are exposed to at night! Give it a try for 30 days and see how much better you sleep, look and feel each day!
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