Blue light, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, is a type of light that is emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computer monitors. This type of light has been found to have a negative impact on our sleep.
One of the main ways that blue light affects our sleep is by disrupting our body's natural circadian rhythm. Our bodies have an internal clock that tells us when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up. This clock is regulated by exposure to natural light, with the blue light spectrum being particularly important. When we're exposed to blue light at night, it sends signals to our brain that it's still daytime, making it harder for us to fall asleep.
Another way that blue light affects our sleep is by suppressing the production of melatonin, a hormone that is responsible for regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is produced by our bodies in the evening as the sun sets, and it helps us to feel sleepy and relaxed. When we're exposed to blue light at night, it suppresses the production of melatonin, making it harder for us to feel sleepy.
The effects of blue light on our sleep can be particularly pronounced for people who work night shifts, or who spend a lot of time staring at screens late into the night. Studies have shown that people who are exposed to blue light at night are more likely to suffer from insomnia, and that they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.
To protect yourself from the harmful effects of blue light, there are several things that you can do:
- Try to avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime.
- Use an analog alarm clock so that you don't use your phone in bed.
- Use a blue light filter on your devices.
- Invest in a pair of blue light blocking glasses.
- Try to get plenty of natural light during the day to help regulate your body's circadian rhythm
Analog products (no screens, no apps, no digital light) can help you take these steps so that you can protect your sleep and ensure that you're getting the restful, rejuvenating sleep that your body needs.