Have you heard all the talk lately about how bad “blue light” emitted from phones, tablets, TVs, etc. – along with LED bulbs – is for you?
It has been in the news a lot lately because of reports it damages your eyes, not to mention how it can mess with your sleep. As you know, sleep plays a big role in relieving stress and helps your brain process all the things that happened during the day.
If you listen to the reports about the dangers of blue light, it’s tempting to buy some of the blue-light-blocking glasses that are on the market now!
And it’s also confusing, since there are so many different opinions about how blue light actually affects your health.
I actually read two different opinions about whether it damages your eyes on the SAME well-recognized health site (I’m looking at you, Harvard Medical School!).
As you may remember from science class, light has many different wave frequencies, and your eyes can only see some of them (like red, blue, and green). And even though you might not see the color blue when you look at a light, that doesn’t mean there are no blue waves.
Here’s why blue light is bad for you: it has more energy per photon of light than other visible colors of light (like those reds and greens). This extra energy means that it’s more likely to cause damage to your body.
This blue light can disrupt your sleep hormones, especially melatonin, which can make it hard for you to either fall asleep or stay asleep (and sometimes both!).
It also can disrupt your body’s natural daily rhythms, especially if you are exposed to it at night.
There’s also been a lot of news lately that it can harm your eyesight by causing macular degeneration (premature aging of your eyes).
If you’re concerned about this, it can be tempting to buy a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses... but the truth is, studies are mixed on how effective they are.
Some researchers give them rave reviews, but some are not so positive.
It definitely can’t hurt to try a pair. It can also be worth installing a blue-light-blocking app or filter on your computer/phone/ebook reader to see if it helps (especially if you’re having a hard time sleeping).
But nearly every expert recommends the most effective thing you can do is …
CUT DOWN ON YOUR SCREEN TIME!
Did you know that the average adult spends up to 11 hours a day engaged in technology – reading, scrolling, listening, etc.
That is a LOT of time – and most of us don’t even realize it!
Not only can spending so much time on your devices possibly affect your vision and your sleep, it can cause aches and pains, cause you to be less active (which has a LOT of implications on your health, sleep, and stress levels), and it can affect how your brain works by changing your ability to focus on just one thing at a time.
Take some time to think about how YOU engage with technology every day.
I’m going to encourage you to experiment with stepping away from it for a specific, INTENTIONAL period of time each day (how much is up to you!). See how it feels to be disengaged for a little while.