• Blue Light: The New Sleep Killer

    by Lauren King, PsyD
    on Sep 19th, 2016

Do you watch television, read on your tablet, or check e-mails on your phone at night? The answer is likely yes as many Americans use these activities to wind down at night. However, many people do not realize how much these evening activities contribute to sleep difficulties. Exposure to blue light emitted by electronics and some energy-efficient light bulbs negatively affects your sleep. And here’s why.

Many many years ago before the advent of electronic devices and artificial lighting, people spent much of the day outdoors exposed to natural light and their evenings were spent primarily in a darker setting. Now people are exposed to a significant amount of light throughout the evening and spend much of their time indoors during the day. Many people do not get sun exposure during the day because they are in school or working in a setting that may not have windows.

At night, our body’s natural sleep hormone melatonin is ready to be released so that you can become tired enough for sleep. Artificial light (especially blue light) throws off the body’s biological clock for the sleep-wake cycle, also known as your circadian rhythm. More specifically, exposure to this blue light from electronics suppresses the secretion of melatonin, preventing us from getting sleepy at night and also making us drowsier in the morning. Suppression of melatonin is not a natural process and has been associated with negative health conditions such as cancer.

TIPS FOR REDUCING BLUE LIGHT AND GETTING TO SLEEP EASIER:

 

*Learn more about the negative effects of blue light and other ways to treat insomnia by enrolling in our Insomnia Treatment Program at Bluepoint Medical Associates. Make an appointment at http://www.bluepointmed.com/ today!

Author Lauren King, PsyD Licensed Clinical Psychologist, CBT-I Provider

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