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Why Computer Screens and Blue Light Are Wrecking Your Sleep

Why Computer Screens and Blue Light Are Wrecking Your Sleep

Is technology ruining your nights? We’re not talking about getting messages all night long, that’s another matter. It’s the blue light that your tablet, phone, and even LED lights emit that can disrupt your sleep.

A lot of research is coming out about how hazardous it is for people to constantly be exposed to blue light. The good news is that the research is bringing this issue to light (pardon the pun), and the future may hold a solution. Meanwhile, it’s up to you to do your research to find your best solution.

Why Blue Light Is Bad

Blue light is part of the spectrum and falls right in the middle of low and high energy emissions. It’s on the visible light side but can dip into invisible radiation or ultraviolet light. Blue light is the highest energy visible light the eye can detect.

Low wave light, on the red end, is easier on your eyes. The higher the energy and the shorter the wavelengths, the deeper they penetrate your eye. Blue light penetrates to the very back of your eye and disrupts your pineal gland.

Your pineal gland is part of the endocrine system. Its main responsibility is to produce melatonin. Yes, that melatonin. The stuff that’s known to regulate your sleep and reproductive hormones. 

Suddenly, the connection between blue light and sleep makes sense. As the only light on the visible spectrum that reaches the pineal gland, it can confuse it and make it believe it’s daylight.

A man wearing blue light blocking glasses

But that’s not all. Blue light from artificial sources not only reaches into the middle of your brain where your pineal gland lives, but it builds up over time. Consistent blue light exposure can affect the retina and cellular anchors, and it can lead to macular degeneration. 

Specifically, it is the blue light from electronic devices that seriously damages your eyes. Understanding the dangers and what you can do to protect your eyes is important for optimal vision and overall good health.

In addition to your eyes, consistent melatonin disruption can put you at an increased risk of obesity and possibly cancer. Not to mention what it’s doing to your sleep and the repercussions from not being sufficiently rested.

More Blue Light Bad News

It’s not just your eyes you need to be concerned about. If you have children, their exposure to blue light can be more detrimental than you realize. 

The younger someone is, the more protection their eyes need. As reported in an article in Medium, until a child is 14, their corneas aren’t fully developed, meaning that they’re more vulnerable than an adult’s eyes. 

Prolonged exposure to blue light is more hazardous for children, and it might be a contributing factor in the epidemic of nearsightedness we’re seeing. 

How to Combat Blue Light

The next step is learning how to combat blue light, so as to protect your eyes and regain your sleep. These tips can help, but don’t rely on just one. Do as many of them as possible for the best results.

A couple sharing a laptop wearing blue light blocking glasses

Limit Screen Time

Yes, most of us work on our computers and stare at screens all day long, so it’s not easy to cut back on your screen time, but it can be done. Think of all of the recreation time your children spend watching TV, streaming videos, playing games, etc. Not only that, what about the time you spend distracting yourself with your phone while waiting in line?

Use a Blue Light Filter

There are so many fantastic ways to block the blue light you’re exposed to. Keep in mind, some forms of blue light, like that which comes from the sun, in lower doses is good for your body. That may help you decide how you want to block blue light.

♦ Blue light blocking filters for computer screens
♦ Use the blue light filter on your computer 
♦ Blue blocker glasses and prescription glasses
Blue light blocking contact lenses
♦ An app filter for your phone or tablet

Don’t Use Tech Before Bed

Blue light at night is worse than the day because of your body’s circadian rhythms, and it’s the real culprit when it comes to sleep issues for many. If you are serious about getting better sleep, then once nighttime hits, it’s time to put away the tech. 

A person yawning while using their tablet late at night

That might be a little too difficult, so you should ease into it. If you don’t already use a blue light filter, use it once the sun goes down. 

Also, start putting the tech away one hour before bedtime. The next day, try to go a minute longer. Eventually, you’ll find a place that’s good for you and your sleep. You might even break free of your tech addiction.

No LEDs and Fluorescents at Night

Replace any bedroom LED lights and fluorescent lights with lightbulbs that are better for your eyes, and that can help you sleep. If you want to go even further, have one lamp in your main living space with a good, old-fashioned bulb. Once it gets dark, switch off your energy-efficient bulbs, and switch on your nighttime bulb.

Get an Eye Exam

Staying on top of your eye health is not just good for your vision, it can be good for your overall health. Eye strain can cause a number of symptoms, and it can also contribute to your sleep problems. On the flip side, insomnia can cause eye strain. Your vicious cycle of sleeplessness and eye issues could be solved by a visit to your eye doctor.

Aging along with frequent computer use brings with it certain forms of degeneration, and the eyes are commonly affected by this. Eye exams are important for prevention, and supplements containing lutein, such as LiveWell’s OptiWell, can help protect the eyes from oxidative damage and reduce the risk of age-related vision degeneration.

Make vision and eye health one part of your journey towards living consciously. Follow LiveWell on Facebook @livewelllabsnutrition and Instagram @livewelllabs for the support you need.

A man receiving an eye examination

Living Well

Blue light is a huge problem as we dive deeper into a world of technology. The great news is that awareness is everywhere, and things are going to change, probably soon. Meanwhile, it’s up to you to make a difference now. And LiveWell is here to support you along the way.

Blue light is damaging to your eyes and can cause huge problems when it comes to maintaining optimal vision and getting a good night’s sleep. Both of these concerns should be at the top of your priorities. And OptiWell can be an important part of your daily eye protection regimen

If you’re ready to make some positive changes, it’s time to cut back on your screen time, protect yourself from blue light, and stop in with your doctor for an annual eye exam. 

Don’t stop there; your family needs your help and encouragement to protect their sleep and their eyes also. Get everyone on the bandwagon to limit blue light exposure.