Blue light, a red light for sleep.

Have you had a difficult time falling asleep lately? While there are many causes of insomnia, an increasingly common culprit is exposure to blue light. People in our society are constantly looking at a variety of electronic screens, from big screen TVs to cell phones, and it turns out this habit can cause sleeplessness. Do you ever watch TV or surf the internet late into the evening and then have a difficult time falling asleep? If so, the solution might be taking a break from electronics at least two hours before you plan on getting some shut eye.

Electronic devices, like computer screens, emit an artificial blue light that is incredibly disruptive to the body’s natural sleep cycle. When our eyes are exposed to these high energy rays, the brain thinks it’s the middle of the day and stops producing the sleep hormone, melatonin. Lack of sleep and melatonin deficiency are linked to numerous health problems, including depression, heart disease, weight-gain, and cancer.

If you can, tune your body to the cycles of creation. Getting sunshine in the morning and exercise during the day can help prepare your body for sleep when the sun goes down. Take a break from electronic devices at night; read a book, journal, or play a good old fashioned card game instead. If you’re worried about not getting enough work done, think about the long term investment in your health and the higher level of productivity you’ll be able to achieve with a good night’s rest.

Rest is vital part of life. Despite what society tells us, we weren’t created to work non-stop, to be constantly busy. If you absolutely must use a computer at night, consider wearing amber-colored lenses, which have been found to block blue light and improve sleep. Otherwise, take a breather and rest your eyes tonight.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21415172
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17435349
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21552190
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20030543

Originally posted 2012-10-23 15:33:00.

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