The Real Dangers Of Artificial Light To Your Health

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

We are surrounded by artificial light sources in our daily life, whether it is the light in our office or from our phone screen. Artificial light can impact your health in a variety of ways, but why is this a problem? The problem lies in the color spectrum that artificial light uses. Nearly all types of light from the screens we use including our laptops, televisions, tablets and phones include a blue spectrum that is more intense than normal sunlight. Sunlight, by the way, incorporates all of the color spectrums.

The blue color spectrum can impact your health in several ways. First, blue light as part of normal sunlight is required by the body for just part of the day. Blue light is what triggers your body to get up and go. Take a plant, for example: The blue spectrum is the wake-up call for plants to open their blooms. The same is true for humans, it is the signal that tells the human body when it is time to get up and out of bed or to start the day. This is a unique spectrum with a unique function that wakes our body up. Blue light is also tied into our metabolism.

 

Digital Blue Light

We live in a digital world; we can’t escape that fact. We’re surrounded by artificial screens every day, including those found at work. Our computers put out a large amount of the blue spectrum light. In fact, laptops and computer screens create more of this light than any other digital screens we encounter. Think about how much time we spend in front of a computer or laptop! This means we are being exposed to blue light for longer hours and different hours outside of daylight for days on end. It can really disrupt our circadian rhythms.

So what are the impacts of being assaulted by blue light on a daily basis? The impacts can be long-lasting and detrimental to your health. If you’re constantly impacted by blue light after normal daylight hours, it can confuse your body. For example, you follow a normal rhythm called a “circadian rhythm,” and the blue light from your laptop can change that rhythm. It means that your body will get out of sync with the natural daylight cycle and react in a negative way. The long-term effects of blue light exposure is currently hot topics in scientific circles, and it is being studied by several universities.

Continue to Page 2

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

The Science Behind Blue Light Exposure

Metabolism and circadian rhythm are inexplicably tied to our health and well-being. The scientific data is clear — blue spectrum light exposure impacts our ability to function. It disrupts our natural cycle and plays with our internal body clocks. The cycle of a normal 24-hour day is important to several factors, including physical and mental health. This cycle impacts all life on earth, including humans, and was long thought to be part of our neurological system. Recent studies have discarded that focus and placed it on the impact that light has on our bodies. The results have been stunning and have developed new treatments for those suffering from deficiencies associated with exposure to blue spectrum and blue light.

One important hormone has been particularly impacted by blue light, and that is melatonin. Melatonin is often associated by the sleeping hours we keep, which for most people are the nighttime hours. However, melatonin levels can be impacted by exposure to blue light.

We’ve all spent the night time hours working on our computers for school or work, so we’ve experienced this blue light exposure first hand. If you happen to work from home or work a night shift, you may want to look into amber shades or shields that block blue light from your screen. If you’re working on a phone, there are some apps that create amber filters during the night time hours to help your brain adapt to its natural cycles.

If you can’t find a filter or app, you may want to consider switching off the computer entirely in the period before bedtime. Take a digital break, and let your body adjust to its natural cycle. Doing so means you’ll get a more restful sleep and be more energized on the day after.

 

READ ALSO: The Truth About CFL and LED Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

 

It is hard, if not impossible, to get away from the artificial light in our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to be a slave to it. Look into the options available to you or take a break from your screen whenever possible. The result will be a more natural rhythm in your daily life and a healthier way to live.

References:

www.health.harvard.edu

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

www.umm.edu