In the modern age of technology it is not uncommon to come home after a long day at work or school and relax before bed by reading an engaging e-book or watching your favourite television show on your digital device. Researchers however finally have concluding evidence and have now been cautioning people against using most light-emitting devices before bed claiming it affects the quality of sleep and ultimately your health. Local tech blogger Kevin Andrews is here with us this morning to shed some LIGHT on this topic and to explain why blue light before bedtime is bad for sleep.
With that in mind, studies are finally in and in many circumstances it has shown that being exposed to light from a digital device at night before bed is making people take longer to fall asleep, have less deep sleep and therefore be more tired the next morning. As a direct result, people are less productive, taking more sick time, and causing more accidents. What what exactly is causing this? So, our bodies are kept in tune with the rhythm of day and night by an internal body clock, and this body clock relies on light to tell the time. Less light means that the body begins to produce a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin which makes us sleepy and tired so as to prepare us for bed. And so, introducing a bright light from a phone or tablet can affect this process. Specifically, it looks like the light from our devices is “short-wavelength-enriched,” meaning it has a higher concentration of blue light than natural light —and the research is now showing that this blue light tends to affect the levels of melatonin which then disrupts our body clock and slows or prevent the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Be that as it may, there are some solutions. Firstly, you can dim the brightness of your devices or you can make use of programs that filters out short-wavelength light in the evening. Currently available for most Android devices (on the Google Play Store) and Mac computers is an app called “F.LUX”. (http:// justgetflux.com) which will change your screen brightness to reduce the blue light emitted. Unfortunately, its not available to your mobile Apple devices, however, it looks like in the next version update Apple is planning on putting in their own version of FLUX calling it Night Shift mode as a direct response to this issue.