How Does Blue Light Affect Sleep?

Ever since the era of smartphones began, every second person you meet spends more than half their time looking at their phones. So much so that sometimes the last thing we see before going to bed is a cell phone and tumble back into the same routine as soon as we wake up.

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    Not just smartphones, screens occupy our life completely. Laptops, television screens, tablets and all the other screens emitting blue light occupy our eyes all the time. Moreover, we even fall asleep looking at these screens. Even though this has become a habit for all of us, it’s not a good one.

    If you are in the habit of falling asleep while looking at a screen, you might experience grogginess during the day. The blue light that is emitted by the screens affects the human body clock. This light can make the body more aware during night time and thus makes it hard for us to fall asleep peacefully.

    The blue light emitted by electronic devices can stop your body from producing melatonin. Blue light suppresses melatonin production which is essential for a restful sleep. Melatonin is secreted by the brain usually by the evening time and it tells the brain and the body that you will soon need rest to recharge yourself. Melatonin plays a major role in regulating circadian rhythms.


    Avoid Screen Time before Bed

    For a good productive day, it is essential for you to have a peaceful night’s sleep. Not getting that rest might screw up the rest of your day and could result in you being irritated, drowsy or just unproductive through the day. You should try and eliminate anything that causes hindrance to your sleep and the first thing to eliminate, are your electronics.

    As a society, we have become quite dependent on technology. Right from the morning alarm to the last thing we look at before our bedtime, it is all related to technology. In fact, we have become quite used to watching movies, or shows, or sports, or television before bedtime and these affect our sleep too. There are many who even fall asleep while consuming content on these electronic devices. You don’t even realize the harmful effect that this is having on your body and carry on with the routine.

    For an ideal night’s sleep, you must stay away from all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. Keep your phone away, switch off the laptop and the television and don’t touch the iPad. All the devices, including your smartwatch, must be kept far away so you are not even tempted to indulge in them. Blue light before sleep must be avoided.

    This will result in a healthy peaceful sleep. In fact, this sleep will be uninterrupted and you will wake up in a fresher mood.

    As a practice, you can make a rule that no electronic devices must be used in bed. With this self-imposed rule, you can keep your usage in check and build a healthy lifestyle. You can also put an alarm in your devices so they will switch off after a certain time, this will indicate that your stipulated time for using the electronic devices is over.


    Phones Are Bigger Culprits Than Laptops

    Using any device that emits blue light can cause stress to your sleep but using a phone is the most dangerous when compared to laptops or tablets. When using a phone, you hold it much closer to your eyes in comparison to any other device.

    Many people tend to use their phones late at night. The usage of smartphone apps is addictive and you think you are just passing your time while waiting to fall asleep. But that is not the case. You are tiring your eyes, your body and disrupting your sleep as well.

    You tend to hold your phone too close to your eyes and therefore end up tiring your eyes. This will cause the body to feel groggy in the morning and also strain your eyes which could weaken the eyesight as well.


    Red Light over Blue Light

    The light emitted by electronics can be red or blue. Red light is softer in comparison to blue light and does affect your sleep the same way. It has been observed that exposure to red light before bed is not harmful and does not interfere with the sleep cycle. While blue light causes a lot of strain, the same effect has not been noted in red light. Red light has a longer wavelength.

    These days there are apps available that filter out the blue light from electronics. If your devices are compatible with these apps, you can go ahead and install them. These apps will block out the blue light making it guilt-free for you to use electronics before bedtime. There are also glasses available for the same purpose. You can use these glasses and it will filter out the blue light. You can also find specialty bulbs that you can install in the house that will help you even further.


    Watching Movies or TV Shows before Bed

    A lot of people are in the habit of watching TV shows or movies before bedtime. This is unhealthy for a peaceful sleep as the genre of content that you watch might be harmful to you. Even watching the news is not a healthy practice. You tend to think about what you have seen and ponder over it, and if you plan to sleep immediately after, this will cause unrest in your brain that will ultimately lead to a disrupted sleep cycle.

    Watching content with all the lights switched off and concentrating on just what you are watching is extremely unhealthy as it will strain the eyes, and make you feel tired the next morning, which you certainly don’t want.


    What to Do If You Need to Work?

    Not everyone is just passing their time using electronic devices before bedtime, there are many who need to work and it is essential for them to prepare for the next day. If it is essential to use electronics at night, you can try dimming the lights of your laptop so it doesn’t strain your eyes. Having too much screen time affects your health so you must take that into account as well.

    You might have noticed that all your devices have a night mode which uses softer light and does not brighten up the room. Try using this mode for all electronics during the night time.

    This way, you can finish up your work on the laptop and you won’t even strain your eyes as much. But this should be used only in emergency situations. Don’t make a habit out of this but save it for days when you have to work urgently.


    What Is the Solution?

    If you aim to have a good productive day where you can get all your work done without feeling tired, you have to have a good night’s sleep. But with all these electronic devices hampering your lifestyle, you have to find a solution that works for you perfectly.

    Switch off the Devices

    You can switch off all the devices in your bedroom and go off to sleep. Make sure all the devices are plugged out and switched off so you are not tempted to use any of them.

    No TV in the Bedroom

    Many swear by this rule, while there are others who find it bizarre. But, if you want to achieve a healthy night of sleep, make sure you aren’t distracted by moving images during the night. This way there will be no screen time before bed.

    Electronics in the Other Room

    This is a big step as all the devices that keep you connected to the rest of the world will be in a different room. This way you are not checking your phone through the night and you are not rushing to it as soon as you wake up. This allows you to catch up on good sleep and make time for your loved ones.

    It is extremely essential for a healthy body, mind and lifestyle that you achieve an average of 8 hours of sleep per day. This sleep is required to decompress your body so you are ready to exercise it again. By not following a good sleep routine, you are punishing yourself and ultimately harming your body in the long run.

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