In the distant past, before humans produced artificial light using electricity and light bulbs, the sun was the main source of light and the evening and night were spent in relative darkness. But now the situation has completely changed and this time of day, in almost all parts of the world, is bright and clear. The sources of light supply today are such that they emit more blue light. Do you know what blue light is? Do you think that being exposed to this light during the evening and night when it gets dark does not cause any problems for our health? How about our sleep? Is not the quality and duration of sleep affected by artificial light? Stay with us. You will read more about these issues below.
What is blue light?
The light spectrum consists of 7 different colors. Colors such as red, orange, yellow and of course blue that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Tablets, smartphones, laptops and TVs all have one thing in common: they all emit blue light. Fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, like electronics, emit large amounts of this light. Of course, it is not the case that blue light can only be found artificially in these devices. Most sunlight is made up of this color spectrum, and the sun is its main natural source of radiation.
Benefits of blue light
Exposure to sunlight and the blue light emitted from it during the day has benefits for memory and mental health. In recent years, there has been considerable evidence to support this claim. These benefits include the following:
- Help strengthen memory;
- Increase awareness;
- Improve mood and mood;
- Reduce the time required to react;
- Improved Attention Span (Attention Span).
This light also has therapeutic functions; For example, it can be used to improve depressive symptoms. If used in a controlled and principled way, it will also be used to improve the symptoms and treat some skin disorders such as psoriasis and acne. It is even used in a treatment called photodynamic therapy to kill cancer cells; A method that is very effective and practical and has fewer side effects than other methods of improving symptoms and treating cancer.
- Reduction in the number and destruction of skin cells;
- Redness of the skin;
- Swelling and discoloration of the skin (due to exposure to skin pigments).
So blue light helps us to work better and more efficiently during the day and when the weather is still clear. Exposure to this light becomes problematic when it is dragged into the dark hours of the night and evening. It is at these times that we usually deal with blue light losses. You will read more about this issue below.
Losses of blue light and its effect on the quality of night sleep
You may know that the human body has a kind of biological clock that regulates the circadian rhythm of the body (Circadian Rhythm) and with its help, the proper function of many organs of the body is maintained. Of course, the most important task of this biological clock is to regulate the hours of sleep and wakefulness, and for this purpose, it relies on the signals it receives from the surrounding environment. The most important of these signs are light and dark.
During the day, when we are most active and exposed to light and brightness, as mentioned earlier, our body uses this light as a source of energy. The more we are exposed to sunlight and blue light, the better our performance and mood will be.
When it gets dark, naturally, we should no longer be exposed to light, especially blue light. If everything goes normally and the body receives a sign of darkening of the air, the pineal gland in the brain begins to secrete the hormone melatonin. The secretion of the hormone melatonin sends a message to the body that it is tired and needs to sleep.
Now, when we are exposed to the blue light of a phone or any other electronic device in the dark, the secretion of the hormone melatonin decreases dramatically. When this happens, the quality and timing of sleep will also be affected; Especially if we are exposed to blue light in the last hours of the night, close to when we are going to sleep.
If we are exposed to blue light after dark, it will be like the brain receiving the sign of light. It is as if it is still day and the weather is not dark. On this account, there is no need to send a message to the pineal gland to secrete the hormone melatonin. As a result, the quality and duration of sleep is significantly affected.
Getting enough sleep is one of the main pillars of health
Most research has shown that exposure to blue light is bad for sleep and overshadows its quality. You must know that having a comfortable, adequate and deep sleep is one of the main pillars of maintaining health. When the body is deprived of such sleep, it is more likely to cause discomfort and disorders that are sometimes dangerous. Disorders and disorders such as the following:
- Type 2 diabetes;
- Heart failure;
- Metabolic syndrome;
- Obesity and overweight.
However, exposure to blue light at night, by impairing the quality of sleep at night, increases the likelihood of these disorders and indirectly threatens health.
Dealing with the consequences of exposure to blue light at night
Sometimes there is no solution and due to work or personal needs, you will have to use electronic devices at night or be exposed to the light of LED and fluorescent lamps (such as evening shift staff). What to do in this situation and is there a way to control the damage from being exposed to such intense light or not? The answer is that there is such a possibility. Some strategies can be used to reduce the potential risks and consequences of exposure to blue light or bright light when it gets dark.
One of these solutions is to use eye protection glasses against blue light. According to some studies, the use of goggles will be useful for those who for any reason have to be exposed to blue light in the late hours of the night, and will improve the quality of their night’s sleep.
In one study, which lasted two weeks, researchers looked at the quality of sleep at night in two groups of 10 people. The first group was exposed to blue light at night up to 3 hours before bedtime with protective glasses and the second group without glasses. As a result, it was found that the participants of the first group had a better quality of sleep at night and in general, their mood and mood were better than the participants of the first group.
Important points about using goggles
It should be noted that not all studies have confirmed the effectiveness of blue light goggles. An analysis of several studies in this regard was on the agenda of some researchers. In the end, they concluded that the evidence obtained regarding the effectiveness and effectiveness of goggles is more debatable and is not credible enough to be used to recommend the use of such goggles. On this account, if you do not have to work in the evening or at night, expose yourself to less light and blue light from electronic devices and LED lamps; Especially in the late hours of the night and close to when you are going to sleep.
Other effective ways to reduce the effect of blue light
There are other solutions and recommendations that can be used to reduce the effect and intensity of blue light to some extent and deal with its harmful consequences. One of the good and practical solutions is to use Behnam program f.lux. This free program is for Windows and after installation, by identifying your time position, it will drop the appropriate filter on the screen depending on the time of day, thus protecting your eyes from blue light. Similar apps can also be accessed and used on smartphones.
Consider the following tips and apply them if possible:
- Keep the room completely dark or use blindfolds at night while sleeping;
- At night, use more incandescent or dimly lit lamps;
- 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, avoid looking at the screen of electronic devices;
- 1 to 2 hours before bedtime, turn off all LED and fluorescent lights in the house;
- If you have to work in the evening or at night, wear blue goggles;
- At night, use lights that have a bright red light. Red light is less likely to disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm and affect the secretion of the hormone melatonin.
in the end
Sunlight is the main source of blue light. Exposure to it during the day not only has its drawbacks, it is also beneficial and strengthens performance and improves mood. However, this should not be allowed to continue as long as it gets dark, and we should not expose ourselves to light sources that artificially emit blue light (sources such as electronics or LED and fluorescent lights).
If this happens, the brain will lose the ability to secrete enough of the hormone melatonin; A hormone that sends a message to the body about fatigue and the need for sleep. When we are deprived of quality and deep sleep at night, we expose ourselves to serious health risks.
what is your opinion? How much do you know about blue light and its effect on the body? What about strategies to deal with its negative consequences? Do you have a specific solution for this purpose that you have concluded from? In the “Post a Comment” section, you can share your valuable information with us and the readers of the article.