Have you ever asked yourself how light exposure at night affects your sleep and your health?
Most of us do not consider this, we may have sleep problems but we don´t think about light exposure and we can´t deny that we spend too much time in front of a computer, our cellphone, tablet or other electronic device right before going to bed. Once we´re on bed and we want to fall asleep it seems impossible and that´s one of the negative impacts of being exposed to blue light from electronic devices late at night.
Blue light exposure late at night reduces the amount of melatonin that is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. It´s not that your body is not producing melatonin and you need to take it as supplement, it´s that your body is not getting the right signals to produce it when you need it.
If your body does not get the right signals then your brain won´t secret melatonin and you´ll find it hard to fall asleep and once you fall asleep you may not get high quality sleep or you make wake up in the middle of the night. We know that getting enough high quality sleep is crucial for maintaining optimal health and this includes our brain and body.
Blue light interferes with the secretion of melatonin, and this has a direct impact on the circadian rhythm. We know that the circadian rhythm is the internal clock of our body and when it gets out of sync it affects negatively all hormones and systems on our body, it´s not only that we feel tired and lack energy or are less productive the next day, this has a huge negative impact on our health.
Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep is related to some health problems like obesity, diabetes, depression and also Alzheimer´s and even some types of cancer because sleep regulate hormones and systems.
We know that it is recommended that we get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, there are studies that show that people who was exposed to blue light got less sleep time and the quality of their sleep was lower, they also used to be more prone to wake up at night.
The best step we can take is to lower our exposure to blue light as the sun comes down, I know this is almost impossible for most of us because of school, projects, work and let´s be honest we want to watch at least one episode of our favorite series so what we can do is use amber glasses and turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed. I also know I´ve said this before, but it´s important.
You may have heard about red light and how it can improve your sleep, red light exposure before going to bed can increase the secretion of melatonin, there are red light bulbs that minimize blue wavelengths and increase red wavelengths, this does not mean that you will see the bulb and light red. This is a good option if you want to read at night or finish some work, this type of light helps you get the things done without the negative impact of blue light.
If you can get 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight exposure in the morning and turn off you electric devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed that will help your circadian rhythm stay in sync and you´ll find it easier to fall sleep and get high quality sleep, if you can do this every day and create an schedule it will be great.
Let me know by leaving a comment on Facebook and Twitter if you prioritize sleep and if you can get enough or if it is hard for you to get enough sleep and you´re looking for other ways to improve your health.
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