How is your sleep? If you’re struggling to get to sleep – or to get a decent amount of sleep, have you though that the problem might lie with your circadian rhythms? And that exposure to blue light may be messing up your circadian rhythms?
How we’re supposed to sleep
If you go camping, away from towns and cities, you might have noticed you get tired much earlier than you would do normally? When the only light after dark comes from a camp fire, the signal to your body to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. As soon as the sun rises the next morning, melatonin production slows down, telling your body it is daytime – and time to wake up and get going. For this reason light is absolutely crucial to your bodies internal body clock. The incredible range of sleeping potions on sale is surely proof at how widespread sleeping problems are.
Unfortunately the unnatural, man made lights that we all rely on, give off the same lights as the sun – signalling to our bodies that it is daytime. And most definitely not time to sleep. Blue light is everywhere; household lights, your computer, ipad, laptop, tv,street lighting, alarm clocks – it is hard to escape blue light. As well as messing up with natural sleeping patterns, excessive blue light exposure is also linked to increased cancer risk and an increased chance of obesity.
How can we escape blue light?
Fortunately there are measures you can take to limit your exposure to blue light:
- After sunset, turn off all bright lights in your house (use candlelight or orange or red light bulbs)
- Stop using electronics after dark…
- …But if you must use your computer after dark, install the free f.lux program to minimise blue light
- Make your bedroom as dark as possible, install black out blinds (or go for the cheap option and stick card against the windows at night)
- Sleep with an eye mask
- Go one step further and wear blue light blocking glasses after dark (with orange, amber or red tinted lenses)
How well do you sleep? Do you limit your exposure to blue light after sunset? I’d love to hear your sleep tips in the comments below!