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How Blue Light Affects Your Sleep?

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2021-10-13 14:02:03

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effects of blue light on sleep

Do you find yourself feeling tired and groggy in the morning? Do you struggle to fall asleep at night or wake up in the middle of the night because your body feels like it is still on? If this sounds familiar, you should know that many factors can affect our sleep cycle. One common culprit for disrupted sleep patterns is the blue light spectrum. Blue light spectrum refers to any artificial light with a wavelength range around 460-490 nm. But what does this have to do with your sleep cycle? Well, when we're exposed to blue light before bedtime, it disrupts our natural circadian rhythm. Our body's circadian rhythm is a 24-hour or body clock, in other words, that tells our bodies when to sleep and wake up and many other biological processes in the human body.

Blue Light Hurts your sleep cycle and sleep quality:
Digital screens, smartphones, tablets, and computers, among other devices, emit the concerning blue light. This short, blue wavelengths cause the release of more cortisol in our brain, which helps us stay awake and alert. Blue light can reduce melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you sleepy and helps your brain to wind down for the day. If blue light suppresses this hormone, it will not allow you to get enough quality sleep before bedtime.

  1. People who use their phone or other devices with bright screens right before going to bed are more likely to suffer from insomnia than those who don't use these types of gadgets at night. This also causes difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep due to a lack of adequate rest during the nighttime hours when our body should rest and recuperate after a long day.
     
  2. Staring into mobile phones or computer screens containing LED lights over an extended period can lead to eye strain and fatigue or dryness. People who work night shifts, such as nurses and doctors, are particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of blue light. This is because of their exposure to bright hospital lights and even rotational shifts. Shift work disorder can then be a consequence of this exposure.
     
  3. When it's dark outside, our body begins releasing melatonin to help us sleep better at night. However, when we are exposed to blue light in the evening hours, this can disrupt our natural circadian rhythm, causing an imbalance of hormones, leading us to fall asleep quickly or fully restorative deep sleep cycles. We may also experience feeling exhausted even if we have gotten a whole night's rest because of disrupted sleep patterns due to excess exposure to artificial lights in our home or workplace.
     
  4. Don't look at your phone or tablet when you wake up in the middle of the night: This can help reset your internal clock so you won't be as tired during the day. If needed, use a small bedside lamp to see what you're doing instead. You don't need bright exposure from both blue light and white light sources while trying to fall back asleep after waking up.

Sources of blue light and how to manage them:
It can be challenging to avoid artificial lights with the many sources that emit harmful rays into our environment. However, there are some ways you can protect yourself from damaging your body's hormone system with too much exposure to these energies. Here are a few tips for limiting the damage excessive blue causes to your sleep near bedtime:

  1. Turn off electronic devices one hour before going to bed if you want better sleep quality during nighttime hours without disruption in your circadian rhythm. Or you can switch them to night mode, which reduces the amount of blue light they emit, and the yellowish tint of night mode light will not be as harmful to your sleep cycle.
     
  2. If you are using the internet or watching TV at night, try to use a screen that filters out blue light. This can further help with your body's circadian rhythm and hormone levels, which control sleeping/arousal patterns in our bodies.  Some computer programs include this filter option, so it is easy to turn on before going online or watching television!
     
  3. Wear blue-blocking glasses after the sun has set (about an hour) if you need to use a computer or other digital device for work or pleasure that emits harmful light waves into your eyes that may disrupt sleep quality later on in the evening hours. This will help to filter blue light waves and can also act as an anti-inflammatory agent.
     
  4. Make sure you are getting enough exposure to natural sunlight during the day! This helps your eyes produce necessary levels of vitamin D that fight off diseases like cancer (source).  Also, make sure you eat a diet rich in foods high in this essential immune system booster. It's easy for many people to take supplements instead of food sources containing healthy nutrients. Remember these tips when going about your daily life so that being exposed to harmful rays from artificial lights doesn't negatively affect sleep quality throughout the night sleep cycle.

How Blue light affects your circadian rhythm:
Most people are aware of the effect that light has on our circadian rhythm. It tells our bodies when to wake up and when it is time for us to go to bed at night. Blue light, in particular, plays a significant role in this regulation process because blue wavelengths trigger a photoreceptor. This photoreceptor has a substantial impact on letting your circadian rhythm work optimally and present in your eyes. When your eyes receive this light, it signals your internal biological clock to become more sensitive to stimuli and speed up. Consequently, you feel like it is time to wake up or stay awake.

On the other hand, blue wavelength also plays a role in what stage we reach as we fall asleep: either slow-wave sleep (SWS) or rapid eye movement (REM), which leads us into our dreams. During SWS, brain activity slows down significantly – further evidence that this phase represents deep restorative slumber – but during REM, there is increased activation throughout many areas of our cortex, including visual association areas involved with dreaming. Blue wavelength is also thought to decrease the time it takes us to reach REM sleep, which may have implications regarding dream recall.

People exposed to more blue light at night tend not to sleep or for as long because their circadian rhythms become desynchronized from the natural environment around us. This can lead them into a phase of SWS when they should be in REM and vice versa. People might even wake up during deeper stages of sleep since this is when our bodies release growth hormones that aid in tissue repair - so if you find yourself waking up feeling groggy after only four hours of rest, try decreasing your exposure to blue wavelength before bedtime! How many hours does one need? It varies from person to person, but most studies suggest that seven hours of sleep is the magic number.

However, if you feel tired during the day despite getting enough shut-eye, there might be another explanation for your sluggishness: blue wavelength exposure! This happens because it takes more effort for us to fall asleep when overexposed to blue wavelengths, so try dimming or turning off screens two hours before bedtime. It may also help decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Taking these measures will also help with jet lag when traveling across time zones or even getting your normal circadian rhythm back on track after the winter blues!

The blue light spectrum affects sleep in both positive and negative ways. It impacts the deepness of one's sleep cycle, leading to less restorative slumber if not appropriately regulated. On the other hand, it plays a role in our REM phase by increasing activation throughout many areas of our cortex, including visual association areas involved with dreaming; this potentially aids in dream recall as well. We need more research to suggest how much exposure to blue wavelengths is necessary for optimal health benefits (e.g., reducing depression/anxiety and insomnia).

Can the blue light spectrum cause sleep disorders?
In the past decade, more and more people have been experiencing sleep disorders. However, many factors may lead to sleep disorders. One of the most popular reasons is exposure to blue light spectrums at night which can suppress melatonin production in our bodies and disrupt natural circadian rhythms.

In addition, several studies have shown how overexposure to the blue light spectrum emitted from electronic devices can reduce one's time spent on deep non-REM sleep stage. It also affects how much REM we get during a single sleep cycle. All these changes happen without you even knowing it until you start feeling fatigued throughout the day and cannot fall asleep at night. By then, it is too late to react.

Here are some of the ways that the blue light spectrum can cause problems for your sleep quality:

  1. Suppression of melatonin production, which causes people with insomnia or other circadian rhythm-related disorders such as delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), advanced sleep phase disorder (ASPD), and non-24 hour sleep/wake syndrome (NTSWS).
  2. The decreased total amount of deep non-REM stage III throughout the night. Reduction in slow-wave activity during EEG recording at all brainwave frequencies. All these lead to sleeping less than recommended by health professionals over an extended period.

How can blue light lead to poor sleep quality, shift work disorder, and other issues?
The blue light spectrum can cause several sleep disorders. The most common of which is shift work disorder (SWD). SWD affects people who often switch between day and night shifts, like nurses or night shift workers in general. The circadian rhythm of these individuals faces disruption because their body clock has not adapted to its new schedule.
Blue light exposure at the wrong time increases the likelihood of developing this condition. Poor quality of deep sleep also contributes to SWD and other sleeping issues such as insomnia and excessive snoring/sleep apnea (when one stops breathing during rest for more than ten seconds). When an individual's lack of good-quality sleep leads them to stay awake longer, they experience some side effects on their physical and mental well-being.

The blue light spectrum can also disrupt the body's melatonin production, inhibiting its ability to make one feel sleepy and keep them asleep for more extended periods. This leads people exposed to this color spectrum at night to be more likely to develop insomnia or experience poor sleep quality if their bodies have not produced enough melatonin yet.
These are just some examples of how blue light affects our sleeping habits, especially when it comes from electronic devices that emit radiation during late hours in the evening/nighttime. Blue lights may interfere with circadian rhythm by suppressing melatonin secretion, so it is imperative to avoid staying up too long under these lighting conditions. They might contribute significantly to developing specific medical issues associated with lack of sleep.

How can poor-quality sleep because of blue light lead to shift work disorder and other issues?
Blue light spectrum leads to poor quality sleep and leads to a chaotic circadian rhythm or poor sleep quality. This leads to different kinds of sleep disorders and parasomnias, and the most common is shift work disorder (SWD). SWD affects people who often switch between day and night shifts, like nurses or night shift workers in general. The circadian rhythm of these individuals faces disruption because their body clock has not adapted to its new schedule.

Blue light exposure at the wrong time increases the likelihood of developing this condition. Poor quality of deep sleep also contributes to SWD and other sleeping issues such as insomnia and excessive snoring/sleep apnea (when one stops breathing during rest for more than ten seconds). When an individual's lack of good-quality sleep leads them to stay awake longer, they experience some side effects on their physical and mental well-being.
These are just some examples of how blue light affects our sleeping habits, especially when it comes from electronic devices that emit radiation during late hours in the evening/nighttime. Blue lights may interfere with circadian rhythm by suppressing melatonin secretion, so it is essential to avoid staying up too long under these lighting conditions. They might contribute significantly to developing specific medical issues associated with lack of sleep.

Here's how to make your sleep environment better:

  1. Get rid of your television. Watching TV before bed is not suitable for you because it messes with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. If possible, get rid of computers or other devices that emit blue light as well!
     
  2. Sleep in complete darkness. If there is even a little light, it will throw off your circadian rhythm and affect how well you sleep at night. Block out all of the lights in your bedroom!
     
  3. High-quality mattresses:  Lastly, make sure you have a high-quality mattress. Invest in a good one that will be comfortable and help you get the restful sleep your body needs! You can find more information on different types of mattresses here with SleepID. High-quality and high-density mattresses are crucial to your bedtime environment.
     
  4. Journaling and books. Reading before bed is a great way to relax, but make sure it's not an electronic device! Try reading out of physical books or journaling about your day instead.
     
  5. Relaxants like tea: If you need something to help calm you down, try drinking tea or taking a bath. Chamomile tea or anything without caffeine is a great relaxant and will allow you to slip into deep sleep quicker.
     
  6. If your room is too cold: If your space is too hard when it's time for bed, this may prevent you from falling asleep because of the temperature change. Try using an electric blanket with a timer if that helps!
     
  7. Blanket and pillow - Pick out some new comfy blankets and pillows that will make sleeping more enjoyable. You'll want to have high thread-count sheets as well. They are comfortable, cool enough for summer months, but also warm enough during winter nights!

Conclusion:
As we focus more on sleep in today's society, the importance of proper bedtime habits has become more evident. Your bedroom should be a place that is free from distractions and gadgets before you go to bed at night. If you want better and longer sleep due to relaxing techniques, this article will help get you started! You can find out how to create an effective routine by using SleepID recommended mattresses. It works by considering your unique factors, including height, weight, age, and activity level. Our sleep experts are ready to answer any questions about what kind of mattress might work best for you, so don't hesitate to ask them anything or schedule a call with one of their sales reps right away!

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