Sleep is very important for the regeneration of many functions in our body. But, University of Houston researchers found that blue light emitted from digital devices contributes high prevalence of sleep dysfunction.
Study participants, ages 17-42, wore short wavelength blocking glasses three hours before bedtime for two weeks, while still performing their nightly digital routine. Results showed about a 58 percent increase in their nighttime melatonin levels, the chemical that signals our body that it’s time to sleep.
Lead author Dr. Lisa Ostrin, said, those levels even higher than increases from over-the-counter melatonin supplements. The most important takeaway is blue light at night time really decrease sleep quality. Wearing activity and sleep monitors 24 hours a day. The participants also reported sleeping better, falling asleep faster, and even increased their sleep duration by 24 minutes a night.
The largest source of blue light is sunlight, but it’s also found in most LED-based devices. Blue light boosts alertness and regulates our internal body clock, or circadian rhythm that tells our bodies when to sleep. This artificial light activates photo receptors called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), which suppresses melatonin.
Researchers recommend limiting screen time, applying screen filters, wearing computer glasses that block blue light, or use anti-reflective lenses to offset the effects of artificial light at nighttime. Some devices even include night mode settings that limit blue light exposure.
By using a blue blocking glasses, researchers decreasing input to the photo receptors to improve sleep and continue to use our devices. That’s nice, because we can still be productive at night.
According to the most recent findings, three quarters of Americans satisfied with their sleep. More than four in ten Americans reported their daily activities significantly impacted by poor or insufficient sleep.
More information: [OPO]