9th Feb 2018

Exposure to blue light at night could be harmful to your health

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The dark side of blue light
Ben Hocking

Exposure to blue light at night, emitted by computers, tablets and phones at night, can be harmful to your health.

Last year, the Sleep Health Foundation released a report that found two in five Australians were sleep deprived, and one of the leading causes was increased exposure to blue light.

According to the report, “that light wreaks havoc on your body clock and is the reason many people struggle to get to sleep at night after sending emails or watching a movie on their laptop.”

Research has also shown that blue light may contribute to the causes of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.



Interestingly, the devices emitting blue light are only disruptive at night. During the day, blue light boosts attention, reaction times, and mood.

Research has found that exposure to blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, more than any other type of light. It is believed that the shorter wavelengths in blue light are what causes the body to produce less melatonin because the body is more sensitive to this type of light.

A study by the University of Toronto found that those who wore glasses that blocked blue light wavelengths produced more melatonin than those who didn't during night shifts.

I have been wearing glasses with a blue-light filter since November and was able to notice the difference immediately. Admittedly, I consider myself a bit of a night owl at the best of times, but in the first week of wearing the Exyra glasses, I noticed myself becoming tired much earlier in the night than usual.

The quality of my sleep has also improved, rarely stirring throughout the night (hot summer nights excluded, of course).

As well as investigating blue-light filtering glasses to counter the effects of all our night-time screen watching, experts also recommend dim red lights for night lights as they do not suppress melatonin as much.

You can also try to avoid looking at bright screens in the two to three hours before you go to bed.

Experts also suggest exposing yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night.

Do you have problems sleeping at night? Have you tried blue-light filtering glasses or decreasing your screen time before bed? Has it worked for you?

DISCLAIMER: The author was provided with a sample pair of Exyra blue-light filtering glasses for the purposes of writing this article.

Related articles:
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Two in five Aussies sleep deprived
What healthy people do before bed





COMMENTS

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Dave R
15th Feb 2018
9:46am
The latest models of the better brands of TV and monitors are marketed as being low emitters of blue light. I have both and there does seem to be a difference as I am sleeping better because I am going to bed tired.
Janus
15th Feb 2018
10:14am
Here is some FREE software that automatically takes the blue light out of your screen after dark. No tricks, no virus, no problems, no spam, no ads, no pressure, no crap. Just freeware. Highly recommended by me.

it is called f.lux , so you can search that if you want, or just http://justgetflux.com
Bazza13
15th Feb 2018
11:02am
There is an app for android devices called 'Twilight' that works like F.lux for PC,s

The latest version of Windows 10 has a 'Night light Setting' but i have not used it as I have found that f.lux works well.
Pushkin2
15th Feb 2018
1:22pm
Never spend long periods watching screens without another light on.


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