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Electronic devices emit blue light that can cause a wide range of adverse effects on your health. The pervasive glow of electronics and related devices is the leading cause of disrupted circadian rhythms, taking a toll on children’s and adults’ sleep-wake cycles.
Not only does blue light from your electronics cause sleep disturbances, but it also leads to mental health conditions like stress, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. In today’s article, I will discuss the harms of electronics on your mood and mental health. Read on!
Prolonged exposure to blue light can make you feel moody – but why?
Blue light can significantly affect your psychological health when you expose your body to it for an extended period. It interferes with your brain structures and prevents neurons from regulating your mood, emotions, hormones, and sleep.
Blue light makes your feel more alert because it has the highest energy in the visible light spectrum. Although this is one advantage of blue light, you are not a nocturnal species, meaning you need at least eight hours of good night’s sleep at night.
Exposure to blue light close to bedtime can disrupt your circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle, leading to reduced melatonin, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins production. As a result, you develop symptoms like fatigue, tiredness, mood changes, stress, and depression.
Blue light hinders hormone secretion and blocks nerve signaling in your brain, leading to a wide range of health conditions, including mood disorders, bipolar disorders, stress, and anxiety. Remember, these conditions are interrelated to diabetes, heart diseases, etc.
Sunlight was the primary blue light source before the invention of artificial blue light. It means your sleep-wake cycle would perfectly align with the 24-hour solar day. However, individuals and businesses use bright lights at night for security purposes and run essential services, such as health institutions and hospitals.
It means people constantly expose their bodies to electronics and devices that emit harmful blue light. Although lights improve people’s lives in various ways, they can cause mood disorders and depression. The blue light that penetrates your skin causes the brain to reduce dopamine and serotonin production, two chemicals that enhance your mood.
Is the phone the only place we get blue light from?
Sun is the most prominent source of natural blue light, offering numerous benefits to your body, including enhanced cognition, focus, alertness, and improved skin health. However, blue lighting emitting from your phone may not have the same benefits except for making you feel alert at night.
I think this is not an advantage unless you want to stay awake at night and carry out an important company’s project on your computer. So, is your phone the only source of blue light? The answer is “NO.” Let me discuss this in detail. Continue reading!
In addition to your cell phone or smartphone, tablets are another source of blue light. Tablets put more blue light on your eyes and skin than any other color. However, modern tablets often have “night mode” features that reduce your exposure to blue light.
Therefore, make sure you purchase a tablet with a night mode feature, allowing you to give your screen an orange tint to prevent eye strain. Bear in mind that the orange color has a longer wavelength and does not negatively affect your eyes, skin, and brain.
Laptops and computers are bigger versions of tablets and smartphones. It means they generate more blue light than smaller devices. People use computers and laptops for night shifts or work as freelancers to complete their projects on time.
Using laptops for various projects can make you productive and meet your company’s deadlines fast; they will impact your health severely. If you don’t have any other option, use blue glare blocking glasses or install filters on your laptop or computer monitor to reduce the blue tint.
Fluorescent & LED Light Bulbs
Although fluorescent and LED light bulbs use less electricity than incandescent light bulbs, they emit more blue light into the living space, producing adverse effects on everyone in the room, including adults and children. Experts recommend using red or amber lights instead of these lighting products to protect your eyes from the blue light’s adverse effects.
LED Televisions are another source of blue light in your home. Many flat-screen TVs are backlit with blue lighting, and prolonged exposure to these devices can cause harmful effects on your health.
Therefore, it is essential to choose a TV with an internal blue-light filter to ensure the blue light does not affect your eyes. Likewise, you can adjust brightness and color to reduce the effects or use blue glare-blocking glasses to stay comfortable.
Undoubtedly, digital or e-readers offer numerous advantages to working individuals. However, people who use an e-reader instead of a printed book or reports (working purposes) take more time to fall asleep.
Using e-read for your personal and work-related activities can make you feel less alert in the morning. Some e-reader devices have advanced features, such as blue light reduction. So, make sure you purchase an e-reader with such a feature.
Handheld Gaming Systems
Blue light surrounds people everywhere because the devices that emit blue light have become an integral part of their lives. Like other digital devices, handheld gaming systems also use LED lights that emit blue light, causing significant harm to your children’s health if used for a prolonged period at night.
Although playing videos games on handheld devices can stimulate your young ones’ minds and make them creative, using them for a prolonged period can cause harm. According to the Sleep Foundation, children must not use these devices at least 30 to 60 minutes before bed to promote healthy sleep and wake up fresh in the morning.
All cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices emit blue light that is difficult on your eyes before bed. Reducing blue light emissions is crucial for people to promote healthy sleep and improve their mood. Even if you use these devices, make sure you adjust the brightness and contrast or use blue-light-blocking glasses.