Have you ever heard of the big hoopla about blue light? Well it’s an issue that’s been around for 10 years but only until the past few years has anyone done anything about it.
Why is it such a big deal you ask? Here’s a short story on your brain & how it works. I hope I don’t bore you to death. 🙂
Our brains secret a neurotransmitter called melatonin when the sun goes down & that helps us to fall asleep. When the sun comes up, we wake up because of the blue wavelength of light that’s naturally in sunlight. This blue light stops the brain’s production of melatonin.
Now, LED displays (iPad, iPhone, smartphones, tablets, laptops) emit an excessive amount of this same wavelength of blue light that “wakes us up”. If we are exposed to this blue light too late in the day (i.e. past sundown), our brains are stimulated or trained to not secret melatonin. Research shows it could be as much as 4 hours after last blue light exposure that our brains start to secret it again.
This is the reason why we can’t fall asleep after playing Angry Birds until midnight on our phones. Maybe I’m dating myself & should have said “Instagram or Facebook” 🙂 Not only can we not fall asleep, we can’t stay asleep either. Our brains don’t have the time to “reboot” for us to tackle the next day. So we wake up groggy & unable to focus.
It has been postulated that this lack of “rebooting” is linked to depression, ADD and/or ADHD, obesity and a list of other psychological or neurological disorders. I agree to this as well.
Only recently Apple & Android came out with Nightshift and glasses lens manufacturers with “blue blocking” lenses and coatings. These block a huge portion of this blue light & this is a good thing.
The take home message is to wear your blue blocking glasses of any make (Zeiss Blue Protect) and enable your Nightshift from 5pm to 7am (unless you have little toddlers waking you at 5am then set it for 5am 🙂
Have a great week!