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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

TECH HEALTH: Effects Of Gadgets Screen "Blue Light" On Human Eyes & Sleep

Tech gadget addiction is a common disease in this date and age, especially among teens, youths and middle aged men between the ages of 15-35 years.

These addiction with tech gadgets (mostly smartphones and PCs) have health consequences, some of which I have written on in a previous post.

On this post, I will be touching on how bright light from our tech/electronic gadgets affect our sleep/sleep pattern and in extension our health.

Image result for staring at a computer at night image

While it is advisable to keep your gadgets off before going to bed, people in spite of this advice make use of their devices before going to bed (I am notoriously guilty of this too!!!), with information according to the National Sleep Foundation having a massive 95% of people making use of their tech gadgets right before going to sleep daily (damning the consequences!).

However, the health repercussions remains serious with health risks such as "Tech neck" being a by product of gadget addiction.

Below are additional health risks that tech gadgets addiction pose:

Effects Of Gadgets Addiction On Sleep

Artificial light from the electronic devices screws up with the sleep-promoting chemicals in the brain. 
Exposure to this light significantly decreases the hormone melatonin in the body, a hormone that is responsible for regulating internal clock and maintaining the sleep cycle.

Image result for staring at a computer at night image

A study has found that if an individual is exposed to bright mobile or tablet screen for two hours or more, the level of melatonin in the body decreases by up to 22%. 
This reduction in levels of melatonin leads to health issues such as diabetes, sleep disturbance, obesity and other disorders.

Health Effect Of Blue Light

The blue light emitted by electronic gadgets (mostly smartphones, tablets, PCs etc) have a negative impact on  the quality and quantity of sleep you get. 

Blue light suppresses the brain’s melatonin and affects your sleep, taking a step towards limiting your contact with these blue lights (e.g blue light filtering) would go a long way in keeping you away from health disorders.

Blue light sends alerts to our brain, essentially sending the message to hold out on sleeping.
According to experts the human eye has about 30,000 cells, which react to the wavelength of blue light. 

Image result for staring at a computer at night image

Blue light conventionally runs in 460 nanometer range of light spectrum. This light spectrum hits the cells of the brain and sends the message to brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus asking it to reduce the production of melatonin.

Blue light filtering can be achieved with the use of some online apps, with some other mobile app such as Twitter offering a "night mode" option to limit user's contact with blue light.

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Other alternative options are the use of light bulbs glasses, glasses etc to reduce the direct contact of blue light from your eyes.

Staring at a screen for long periods causes sleep disruptions which in turn leads to serious health consequences such as obesity, heart attack, type-2 diabetes and cancer as well as emotion related issues such as moodiness, depression, anxiety and increased chances of accidents.

Health Effect Of Blue Light On Human Eyes

The excessive use of smartphones can cause eyes diseases such as cataract and even blindness. LED light bulbs can cause more damage than your mobile phone. 
The continuous exposure can suppress the melatonin and can even shorten the melatonin duration by approximately 90 minutes.

Image result for staring at a computer at night image

If you do have to make use of your your gadgets (work related or emergency). it is advisable to keep a warm light bulb around which emits less blue light and lessens the effect of direct contact of  blue light to the eyes.

Alternatively, since light/light bulbs can possible have an impact on the circadian rhythm and also affect the human skin ala the Sun.
Wearing a hat or appropriate sun glasses (depending of your room light) so as to avoid the continuous exposure to the blue light.

Blue light is not all bad, the Sun has a lot of blue light which is generally connected with increased level of alertness.

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