You may be aware that sunlight contains visible light rays and also invisible ultraviolet rays that can tan or burn the skin. But what you might not know is that the visible light emitted by the sun comprises a range of different-colour light rays that contain different amounts of energy and that one of them can be bad for you?
Here’s all you need to know about Blue Light.
What is Blue Light?
Before understanding what Blue light is, it’s important to know where it comes from.
So let us begin, shall we?
Cutting the suspense let us tell you that that the sun emits red, orange, yellow, green and blue light rays (and yes, blue rays is one of the rays that comes from the sun!) Together, this spectrum of coloured light rays form what we call white light or sunlight. Further, sunlight has both UV and blue light.
While UV light might damage the skin and eyes, little is known about the potential risks of exposure to blue light. Especially at levels released by electronic devices.
Interestingly, Blue light has shorter wavelengths and produce high amounts of energy. Great levels of (blue light) exposure can increase alertness. (it's good during the day, but not quite at night)
And since devices such as computers, mobile phones and television screens are part of our daily lives in 2018, people are exposed to high levels of Blue light.
Studies point out that blue light causes the body to produce less melatonin—less of this hormone means that it will alter your sleep patterns. There are also cases which point out that blue wavelengths overpower delta brainwaves, which induce sleep and boost alpha wavelengths, which create alertness.
How does Blue Light affect you?
As we pointed out earlier, Blue light can uplift your mood and boost awareness, but chronic exposure to blue light at night can lower the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and disrupts your circadian rhythm. Which is bad news!
Research suggests that working on your computer at night can cause diabetes, heart disease, obesity and an increased risk for depression.
There is still no proof what contact to blue light at night seems to have such negative effects on health, but exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin and lower melatonin levels might clarify the association with these types of health problems.
Good and the bad sides of Blue Light
Sleep and Blue Light?
Fluorescent and LEDs bulbs create a two-fold problem when it comes to sleep. First, they produce artificial light. Second, they produce blue light.
Blue light wavelengths produced by electronics and overhead lights boost attention, reaction times and mood, according to Harvard Medical School. This can be great for the daytime when the body needs to be alert, but at night it can become a problem.
Research has found that exposure to blue light suppresses the production of melatonin more than any other type of light. It is believed that the shorter wavelengths in blue light are what causes the body to produce less melatonin because the body is more sensitive to this type of light.
A study by the University of Toronto found that those who wore glasses that blocked blue light wavelengths produced more melatonin than those who didn't during night shifts.
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Do cell phones have Blue Light?
Yes! Blue light is present in electronic devices like laptops, tablets and cell phones. The reason why people are wide awake (for hours) after using electronic devices? Because they emit blue light.
Can I block Blue Light?
Yes, you can! If you are on your phone or laptop, a convenient way to reduce your blue light exposure is to use a blue light filter or something called 'blue cut lenses' in your eyeglasses. These filters are available for smartphones, tablets, and computer screens and prevent significant amounts of blue light emitted from these devices from reaching your eyes without affecting the visibility of the display.
Quick things to remember about Blue Light
Blue light is everywhere
Yes. High energy visible light is one that makes the sky look blue.
The eye does not block blue light
The eye is sensitive to any form of light. This is why you need lenses.
Blue light contributes to eye strain and macular degeneration
Blue light can damage the cells in the retina and lead to loss of vision.
Not all blue light is bad
Natural Blue light (in the daytime) can uplift the mood, and boost alertness.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below.