Are you one of those people who diligently count sheep at night and still can't fall asleep? If this is due to stress, you should probably book the next flight to the sun (by the way, we also have an interesting article on this here: later link to the article with blue light on the plane). But it could also be because your eyes and brain are very sensitive to what is called blue light.
Most digital devices we use every day emit a high-energy, high-frequency light similar to UV light. The longer your eyes are exposed to this blue light, the more likely it is that you won't be able to sleep well. But to understand the effects of blue light on sleep, we first need to tell you about the crucial part of this equation: Melatonin.
Melatonin is a natural hormone found in the brain and its production is key to a good night's sleep. Darkness stimulates melatonin production, while light stops it. In nature, the sun also emits blue light and signals our brain that it is daytime and we should stay awake.
Melatonin, on the other hand, controls our body by smoothly transitioning us into a steady, quality rest. In this way, it controls our circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. However, when the brain stops producing melatonin at night, our circadian rhythm goes off track and sleep is gone.
While light of any kind suppresses the production of melatonin, high-energy blue light does so most strongly compared to red and yellow light. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light with exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much.
Excessive irradiation of blue light on our eyes after dark therefore makes it difficult to fall asleep well. Think of it like a cup of coffee. It keeps you awake all day, while at night it causes insomnia.
This is why blue light filter glasses are essential to combat the effects of excessive light exposure, especially after dark. It is clear that we all cannot live in complete darkness when the sun goes down or switch to dim red light bulbs. However, we can offer protection from long sleepless nights by using blue light filter glasses just when we need them. Finally, get the rest you deserve after a long day in front of screens.