Filter Blue Light For SleepHealth
Sleep and Blue Light
The spectrum of light is made up of many different wavelengths. Blue light and red light are at opposite ends of the spectrum. There is an inverse relationship between the length of the wavelength and the energy it contains. Red light has longer wavelengths and less energy than blue light.
Enough science. The final answer is that light plays an important part in our lives. That includes all light waves on the spectrum, both visible and invisible to the naked eye.
Too much blue or too much red light will disrupt the natural rhythms of our bodies. If you only have an abundance of one color and little of the other you may not be able to sleep well. We require both wavelengths of color for our health.
“In its natural form, your body uses blue light from the sun to regulate your natural sleep and wake cycles. This is known as your rhythm. Blue light also helps boost alertness, heighten reaction times, elevate moods, and increase your feelings of well being.”
RED and BLUE Shades of Light
Red light is also important to our bodies. “While collagen is beneficial to the entire body, it’s most noticeably beneficial to the skin. Red light therapy restores healthy cellular function, it increases the production of collagen, which in turn can smooth wrinkles and enhance tone.” Red light boosts our alertness and elevates our mood.
There are several small steps we can take to reduce the effect of too much red or blue light at the wrong time of day in our lives. It is a problem that most do not know or even understand. However, it will adversely affect your health if not properly controlled.
Too much blue light will reduce your body’s production of melatonin. Therefore, you should reduce the amount of blue light in your home, especially in the evenings. After all, this is when you should be winding down and beginning your sleep cycle. Melatonin will of course help in this area but by reducing some of the blue light in your home, you are also solving this problem. By adding a few red lights with the correct wavelength, the effect of so much blue light is neutralized.
Light Filtering Glasses
You may try wearing blue light filtering glasses. You may find that you can sleep better and your natural rhythms are not being interrupted. Put electrical tape over any led lights in your bedroom that you can not turn off. Try light blocking drapes for your bedroom windows. Everything you do to control the amount of blue light in the evenings will benefit your health.
If you purchase red lights, be sure to look at the packaging. All packaging for new CFL and LED light bulbs provides color temperature information. Use low color temperature light sources for interior and exterior light. This light is less harsh and less harmful to human health and the environment than light with shorter wavelengths and higher energy. Look for warm white sources with a color temperature of 3000k or lower. A higher Kelvin number is more white. The white uses less energy but emits more blue light.
When the sun goes down we tend to be sleepier than during the height of the sun in the sky. Humans are very sensitive to the light-dark cycle of days and nights. Probably because we are circadian beings. Essentially our biological processes run on a 24 hour cycle. Our internal clock is always running. It is a part of our DNA and is inherent in all of us.
Our health demands both red and blue light. Just be careful not to get too much light on the blue spectrum when thinking about bedtime and sleep. Our internal clock will run much better when our bodies get the right amount of blue and red light at the proper time of day.
Read more at the Guide For Seniors about how you can impact your health.