Blue light and its Impact on mental health

46.6 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States suffer from mental health issues. This number means 18.9% of all US adults. The prevalence of mental illness is more among women than men.

Blue light is responsible for disturbing our circadian rhythm (our 24-hour cycle) and poor sleep or even insomnia. Poor sleep leads to mental issues like anxiety disorders, depression, and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), which are serious mental problems.

How Blue light affects sleep?

Sun emits all types of lights, including blue light. Natural Blue light from the sun is responsible for our alertness and steadiness during the day. When blue light hits our eyes in the morning, melatonin hormone production is suppressed, which is our sleep hormone, and we rise.

When night falls, and the sun starts to drop, then natural blue light decreases, and it gives a signal to the pineal gland to secrete a hormone named melatonin responsible for our proper sleep.

Melatonin is also responsible for maintaining our circadian rhythm, which is our 24-hour cycle. Blue light is also emitted from computers, LEDs, and Smartphones. When we use these digital devices late in the night, we are overexposing ourselves to blue light.

When we are overexposed to blue light, melatonin hormone production is suppressed, resulting in poor quality sleep or sometimes even leads to insomnia.

If we can’t get proper sleep, we face serious mental problems. There are various types of mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Anxiety Disorders

According to the latest figures, 19.1% of the US people suffer from anxiety disorders. Women suffer more from anxiety disorders as compared to men. These are some of the most common mental disorders in the overall population.

Sleep disturbance is one of the main reasons behind anxiety disorders. Several studies tell us that about 30-40% of people with insomnia suffer from anxiety disorders.

Our body has a hormone named cortisol, which is secreted during the daytime. It is also secreted in conditions of “fight and flight.” It means it is responsible for our alertness.

Cortisol is generally secreted in response to blue light. Nowadays, we are being overexposed to blue light because of LEDs, computers, and smartphones. All of us have habits of using our mobile phones late at night.

This overexposure to blue light causes the release of cortisol even in the nighttime. It gives the signal of alertness to our bodies. An increased presence of this hormone at night contributes to increased stress levels. This stress, if not appropriately managed, leads to anxiety disorders.

Depression

Depression is the most common illness in the united states, and it affects 300 million people worldwide. 

There is a proven relation between sleep and depression. Improper sleep or insomnia is a reason behind depression.

Disturbed circadian rhythms, in which hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and dopamine are secreted even in the nighttime. They keep our bodies in an alert state when it’s our rest time, leading to extreme depression.

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

About 2.9% of adults suffer from attention deficit hyperactive disorder in the united states according to an estimate.

Signs of ADHD are.

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

The relation between sleep and ADHD has been studied importantly, but some doctors claim to treat this mental disorder without improving sleep.

It mostly affects children with improper sleep. One of the leading causes of sleep disturbance or insomnia in children is exposure to artificial blue light in the night hours.

What can I do To Avoid these mental Disorders?

 I am giving you some tips to improve your lifestyle and avoid these severe mental disorders. 

Tip 1: Try to improve your sleep. Try to avoid blue light, especially during the night hours. It’ll help you have a proper sleep.

Tip 2: Use blue light blocking glasses and use them, especially when working at the computer or using your mobile phone. This will help you avoid overexposure to blue light and ultimately contributes to your proper sleep.

Tip 3: Use blue light filters on your computer and mobile phone screens.

Tip 4: Try to adapt the 20-20-20 rule. It means to look at something natural 20 feet away for 20 seconds after exposure to 20-minute screen time.

Tip 5: Attend mental health awareness seminars or programs that will help you better understand mental problems.

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