Blue Light Dilemma
Most members of the IP ecosystem consume technology at a faster rate than the average person. Therefore, most of us have products (smartphones, tablets, laptops and monitors) that produce “blue light”. Interestingly, blue light is major component of daylight and contributes improving both alertness and responsiveness. Additionally, blue light inhibits the development of melatonin which as many know assists us in going to sleep. Blue light during working hours is very beneficial. However, as more people peruse email, texts and Facebook prior to going to bed, blue light is affecting their ability to sleep well.
According to Steven Lockley, Harvard Medical School, “Blue light preferentially alerts the brain, suppresses melatonin and shifts your body clock all at the same time.” Therefore, it is important to reduce your exposure to blue prior to going to bed. The most sensible suggestions for avoiding disruption of your sleep pattern is to minimize using devices that product blue light. Other blue light tips include:
- Avoiding bright lights prior to bedtime
- Reducing the brightness of your device display screens in the evening
- Read tablets using white letters on a black back ground
- Wear orange tinted glasses in the evening
It is important to note that like many things, how we react to blue light in the evening varies from person to person. Consequently, understanding blue lights effect upon sleep is very important. Our circadian rhythms are being altered by our online behavior and while we may consider the impact upon ourselves, it is even greater for children and adolescents.
Who knew that our desire for restful sleep may be improved by turning off or disconnecting?