Sleeplessness is one of the most notorious of the culprits in vogue today that affects teenagers and adults the most among mental illness and addiction. It is a major contributor towards causing high blood pressure, heart attacks, failures and strokes. Other potential problems include obesity, anxiety, depressive moods etc. Sleeplessness also badly affects the facial appearance of the subject by highlighting dark-circles and swollen bags around the eyes.
Sleeplessness is subject to numerous factors but the one most trending in modernity is “the blue light”.
What is Blue light?
Sunlight or visible light or white light contains red, yellow, orange, green and blue light rays and several distinctive shades of all of these colors. When combined, these colored lights make up the light that we see daily and without which the whole universe and everything in it wouldn’t appeal to our aesthetics as much as it does now.
Now without getting our heads jumbled up in complex physical assumptions, let us proceed to the fact that there exists an inverse relationship between the wavelengths of light rays and the amount of energies that they contain. Light rays with relatively longer wavelengths contain less energy and vice versa. The rays on the red end of the white light or visible light contain longer wavelengths and thus, less energy whereas the rays on the blue end of the white or visible light contain shorter wavelengths and thus, more energy.
The invisible but warming electromagnetic rays just beyond the red light in the spectrum of light rays in visible light are known as Infrared Rays whereas the electromagnetic rays just beyond the visible light spectrum are known to us as Ultra violet rays.
The hazards and benefits of UV rays
As UV rays have more energy than visible light rays, they can affect the skin in a number of ways like causing skin tan, skin burns, skin cancer, snow blindness etc. But controlled and moderate exposure to UV rays can be beneficial too as it helps produce Vitamin D in the body that is good for bones.
Some fast facts about blue light:
- Blue light is everywhere, ranging from sunlight to the light of our TV screens, mobile phones, tablets and light bulbs.
- Although the human eye is a pro blocker against the UV rays, it is not very good at shielding against blue light.
- The blue light in the spectrum of colors of the white light is what makes the sky look blue.
- Extreme or too much exposure to blue light can cause permanent loss of vision as blue light damages light-sensitive cells in the retina.
- Not all blue light is bad for the eye as some blue light exposure is essential for good health. It is mandatory in regulating circadian rhythm, helpful in treating seasonal affective disorder and also boosts mood and alertness.
Is blue light really the badass culprit behind sleeplessness?
Much as we would like to negate the assumption, it is a known fact that excess of everything is bad. Blue light though has its benefits at one place, it also has its harmful effects at the other. It’s beneficial during the day when our body most needs and expects it. It is essentially helpful for our brain so that it can perform effective communication with the rest of our body. But now we are living in a world where most of our electronics and home lighting bombard us with blue light. Our bodies simply aren’t designed for enduring endless exposure to blue light.
Getting exposed to blue light at darker times of the day disturbs our body’s normal cycles. This is the reason why watching TV, or scrolling on our phones minutes before bedtime makes it genuinely hard to fall asleep. Our body is getting exposed to all the blue light and the blue color is specifcally informing our brain that it’s somewhere in the middle of the day, right before we try and shut down for the night. Our SCN doesn’t feel any regard whether we have to be up early for work tomorrow, it’s just partying like its noon and we are in a disco club in LA.
In addition to the above information, we’re also learning more and more about how melatonin, the hormone that regulates the wale-sleep cycle, is responsible for proper maintenance of sleep in the body. Not surprisingly though, blue light directly relents our body’s flow of melatonin thus, hindering our prospects to fall asleep, in addition to negatively affecting the quality of the sleep we get. Poor/less sleep time can transform into a chronic condition, and exhaustion can further aggravate overcoming other health shortcomings.
There are numerous people who are deprived of the gift of a proper and timely sleep. The negative consequences of sleeplessness, affects the daily lives of the people every day. Most of these people are ignorant of the idea that the artificial blue light that occupies and surrounds them all the time is one of the biggest obstacles to a restful sleep.
What can you do about harmful blue light exposure?
So, are you feeling a little blued from poor sleep and exhaustion? Here are some pragmatic ways you can cut back on your daily exposure of artificial blue light and work on your body’s natural rhythmic cycles.
First of all, block blue: Find some blue light-blocking eyewear and yellow light software for your devices that limits blue light emissions.
Secondly, add red: Decrease the color temperature lighting. Amber and red light are good choices after dark.
Thirdly, prefer going darker at nights: At night time, keep your surroundings darker so your body can wind down before bed. Reading in print is better than a lit screen.
Finally, be a bit romantic and catch the sunrise: Romantic sunsets catch all the love and admiration, but a truly remarkable and natural way to reset your circadian rhythm is to get up early and watch the sun come up. It might as well enlighten you.