Study: Blue lights emitted by electronics can cause insomnia
Millions of people suffer from some type of insomnia, unable to get the right amount of sleep.
Amber Caudle, a chef from Redondo Beach, CA was no stranger to this issue. That’s when she turned to blue light-blocking technology.
“I have blue screen blockers on all my electronic devices,” Amber shares. “I have day/night bulbs, night-light bulbs in my bedroom at night, and then I also have some blue light blocker glasses.”
Research shows blue lights, most often emitted by electronics and energy efficient lightbulbs, can throw off the body’s biological clock, potentially wreaking havoc on your sleep patterns. Sleep expert Dr. Nate Watson says this can cause ongoing issues.
Watson says, “In today’s day and age where light pollution is everywhere, in particular with smartphones and laptops and TVs, these wavelengths are causing problems.”
But it doesn’t stop at sleep. The American Medical Association issued a warning report that “nighttime lighting” has “potential carcinogenic effects related to melatonin suppression” and that other diseases can be exacerbated by messing with circadian rhythm including obesity, diabetes, and depression.
Dr. Watson says people are getting proactive. “There’s a number of things that people have tried to block blue light wavelengths in order to sleep better.”
In addition to the special lightbulbs and glasses, there are apps you can download, and many major smartphones now come with built-in blue blocker settings. Dr. Watson adds there’s evidence reducing blue wavelengths can facilitate sleep onset and says these blue wavelength blocking apps and products are another way to tackle the problem.
However, not all the research is positive. One study shows there’s not enough evidence to claim blue blocking glasses work, but Amber says for her, they’ve been eye-opening, she says she’s noticed an improvement to her overall well being.
While blue light-blocking techniques may help you sleep better, Dr. Watson also strongly encourages positive habits like a consistent bedtime routine, limiting caffeine after 2 p.m. and a cool, dark, quiet sleep environment.