Blue Light: Does It Really Impact Sleep?

Unfortunately, there are some real negative effects that can come from staring at our screens all day, with the UK average being 3 hours and 23 minutes. This rises significantly in the 16-24-year-old age group, who spend an average of four hours a day looking at their mobiles.

The screens on these devices can emit blue light that disrupts our sleep pattern, which may cause you to wonder: is blue light a myth?

In this blog, we will discuss what exactly blue light is, what devices give off blue light, the negative effects it can have on our sleep, as well as how to mitigate the effects of blue light. 

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is sometimes referred to as high-energy visible (HEV) light, which is a colour in the visible light spectrum. Both visible and non-visible light has wavelengths that are measured in nanometers (nm), and generally speaking, the shorter the wavelength, the higher the energy. Due to its short wavelength, blue light has a larger energy output, causing it to be visible to the naked eye.

What Devices Give Off Blue Light?

Like other visible light colours, blue light is all around you; for example, the sun’s light is blue, as it is in incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs. Because of the widespread usage of devices that rely on light-emitting diode (LED) technology, people are now more exposed to blue light than ever.

The following are some commonly used devices which emit blue light. 

  • Florescent lighting.
  • LED bulbs.
  • Smartphones, TVs, and computer monitors.
  • Tablets.
  • E-readers.
  • Gaming consoles.

What Does Blue Light Do to Your Eyes?

The structures in your eye are designed to shield it from some types of light. The light-sensitive retina in the back of your eye is shielded from harmful UV rays, for instance, by your cornea and lens. 

However, these eye structures don’t keep out blue light. We are exposed to a lot of it too. A great amount of blue light comes from the sun and is actually far worse than that from any one device.

According to studies, blue light exposure might result in eye strain, weariness, headaches, and insomnia.

Due to LED lights being relatively new, there aren’t any long-term studies to assess what blue light might do to your eyes over the course of your lifetime, according to researchers.

Blue Light and Sleep – What Are the Effects?

There are studies that suggest that blue light can have a negative impact on your sleep.

Any type of light can prevent the release of melatonin, but blue light does so more effectively. In a study, Harvard scientists and their associates compared the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light versus exposure to green light with similar brightness.

The blue light significantly disrupted circadian rhythms and inhibited melatonin for approximately twice as long as the green light (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).

How to Mitigate the Effects of Blue Light

Here are some suggestions to mitigate the impacts of blue light since giving up all digital devices isn’t a practical choice.

Cut down on screen time

Regular breaks from computer or TV screens allow your eyes to rest and reduce your exposure to blue light. Look away from your screen and concentrate on something 20 feet away once every 20 minutes. Spend at least 20 seconds doing this.

Get computer glasses

Reduce exposure by wearing computer glasses with specific lenses. The yellow-tinted lenses reduce digital eyestrain by reducing blue light while enhancing contrast on your screen. The effectiveness of blue light-blocking glasses has to be further studied. However, a small study indicated that people who wore glasses with filtration lenses experienced decreased eyestrain, blurred vision, and dry eyes after spending extended amounts of time in front of a screen.

Use a filter

The amount of blue light that is emitted by your computer, tablet, and smartphone screens can be reduced by installing a screen filter on them. You might also try setting your devices to “night mode.” The option reduces the brightness of your screen. This may improve your quality of sleep by reducing digital eyestrain.

Take a Break from the Screens with Mattressman

Here at Mattressman, we have the perfect range of mattresses available to entice you away from those screens. Take a look at our bed help and advice, where we can help you get the right information to enhance your sleep experience.