Use Your Electronic Devices and Still Get A Restful Sleep
If you are like me, you work from the time you get up until you go to bed and much of that work involves looking at a screen, be it a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone or when you get a chance to relax, the television.
According to research conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, the short wavelength of the blue light that these electronic screens emit affects our circadian rhythm. It also responsible for the suppression of the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, and that affects our ability to sleep restfully.
Many of us exhibit the symptoms of poor concentration, mood changes, and fatigue at work that is often directly attributed to our poor sleep habits. Additionally, lack of proper sleep has been shown to contribute to serious long term health effects, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Sleep disruptions for children and teens can be hugely disruptive to mood and schoolwork and using electronic devices. Those who used these devices before bed were three times more likely to get less than five hours of sleep.
They recommend turning off all electronic devices two hours before going to bed.
However, for us workaholics, a new study out of Endocrinology and Metabolism of the Amsterdam University Medical Centre found if you put on glasses that block out this blue light at 5 or 6 pm you can continue using your devices without the negative impacts to your circadian rhythm. It was the same as turning off your electronic devices completely.
Based on the data collected in their study, the likely cause of adolescent sleep complaints, including delayed sleep onset, can be mediated by reducing blue light from screen use. For children and teens who began wearing these type of glasses when doing their homework on their electronic devices or watching television compared to a group who did not, they were able to offset their sleep issues within just a week.
It is incredible that something as simple as blocking blue light with these type of glasses or committing to complete screen abstinence resulted in earlier sleep onset and earlier wake-up times, and reduced sleep issues in as little as one week. By introducing simple measures now, we can tackle this issue, avoiding more significant health problems in the future.
Increased amounts of blue light from our screens are also responsible for the production of a chemical that is toxic to the cells in our eyes that are responsible for light sensitivity leading to the advancement of an eye condition known as, Macular Degeneration that results in poor middle vision. This condition currently has no cure and affects one out of every seven people who are over fifty years of age.
These blue light filtering glasses may also help counteract these problems associated with the exposure to blue light.
For me, it was worth the few bucks, and it did make a difference.
Glasses and screens which filter blue light are readily available online and at some opticians.
I have been wearing these Gamma Ray Brand Blue Light Blocking Glasses for about eighteen months and have noticed a marked improvement in the soundness of my sleep. They are not expensive and are available with no prescription up to 2.50x reading lenses.
You can get the same ones I use here