Sleep is important for your physical health and mental wellbeing. It restores your memory, enhances your immune system, and optimizes your brain functions. People who don’t get enough sleep are prone to chronic health conditions, such as insomnia, obesity, diabetes, metabolic disorders, and heart diseases.
Science of Sleep Patterns
Circadian rhythms, or sleep patterns, are controlled by light and dark. The stages of sleep-wake cycles develop from six weeks of age, and most children spend more time asleep than awake by the age of two.
Research shows that children spent 40% of their childhood asleep. On the other hand, sleep patterns or sleep-wake cycles last about 90 minutes in adults. There are two types of sleep patterns that people cycle through each night.
Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM)
Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) or deep sleep makes up 75% to 80% of a person’s sleep. During NREM, the body increases blood supply to the muscles and restores energy. At the same time, NREM plays a crucial role in hormonal growth and development.
Rapid Eye Movement (REM)
Rapid eye movement (REM) or light sleep makes up 20% to 25% of a person’s sleep. During REM, your brain is active and undergoes the dreaming process. Your body becomes still, and your heart and breathing rates are irregular.
Light and Deep Sleep Cycles
Children, teenagers, and adults cycle through light and deep sleep throughout the night. Everyone wakes up from light sleep at night. Although waking up overnight is a normal process, it becomes a problem when you can’t get back to sleep.
Children need 10-11 hours of sleep at night, whereas adults need 7-8 hours of sleep at night. Not getting enough sleep is a common problem in children and adults. These include nightmares, snoring, and delayed sleep.
Effects of Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep may disrupt your mood and behavior, making you irritable and cranky. You might find it challenging to control your feelings. A lack of sleep cause frustration, nervousness, anxiety, and other chronic conditions.
At the same time, you can’t concentrate on your work, effective your productivity. Restlessness also leads to metabolic imbalances in your body. Inadequate sleep patterns can affect your attention, memory, reaction time, creativity, and even decision-making.
Blue Light and Sleep Patterns
Artificial light sources are commonly used in everyday life to illuminate homes and streets. There has been a change to use energy-efficient technologies, such as LEDs, and increased use of digital devices. Research shows that artificial light varies in color and brightness, including how much blue light these sources emit.
With the duration of digital devices’ usage, these properties can change how they affect your health and the environment. Specialized cells in the eyes have evolved over centuries to respond to daylight, especially wavelengths of blue light.
The purpose is to track time regulate biochemical functions, including the biological clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. Daylight is essential for vision and your overall health. Adequate exposure to daylight, particularly in the morning, is vital for synchronizing your circadian rhythm that can affect different processes, including sleep, immune function, metabolism, and even your mood.
However, exposure to a shorter wavelength of blue light outside normal daylight hours disrupts your sleep and the circadian rhythm, leading to adverse health effects. For example, when you use a digital device before bedtime, the blue light emitted from it can penetrate your retinal cells, damage them, and disrupt your neuronal functions, causing sleep disturbances.
Effects of Blue Light on Circadian Rhythms
Exposure to blue light can disrupt your circadian rhythms and cause behavioral consequences. Your 24/7 lifestyle changes your exposure patterns to shorter wavelengths of blue light, challenging your circadian drive for sleep at night.
Increased exposure to blue light in the evening, including light-emitting screens and LED bulbs, can delay your circadian clock. The interference makes it challenging to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. It also impedes attention and concentration abilities in the morning.
In addition, shift work results in people working and sleeping at sup-optimal times of the day, causing poor sleep patterns, reduced productivity, and elevated risk of errors, health problems, and accidents.
On the other hand, some people experience jetlag due to improper adjustment of their circadian clock to the solar cycle of a time zone. For example, the difference between weekday and weekend sleep patterns can also cause circadian clock misalignment with the solar cycle. It is because your body receives inconsistent exposure to light in the daytime and nighttime.
The Solution – Blue Light Glasses
Light limiting technologies can reduce exposure to harmful blue light and its adverse effects before bedtime. These technologies are designed to block blue light and prevent melatonin suppression. One of these technologies is blue-light-blocking glasses.
Blue light glasses have orange or yellow-tinted lenses that block blue light of higher energy levels and shorter wavelengths from penetrating your eye structures. As a result, it prevents retinal damage and impaired neuronal functions to maintain the production and balance of hormones like melatonin, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.
At the same time, blue light glasses are beneficial for people who use digital devices frequently. For example, if you work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic and have a night shift, you can use blue light glasses to block the blue light generated from your computer screen.
Good sleep patterns are essential for your health, leading to improved metabolic, homeostatic, mental, cardiovascular, circulatory, and cellular functions. Unlike ultraviolet light that damages the skin, blue light affects your eyes and brain, disrupting your sleep-promoting hormones and disrupting sleep patterns at night.
Blue light glasses are advanced, cutting-edge accessories designed for people prone to artificial blue light sources, such as computers, TV screens, laptops, smartphones, tablets, LED bulb lights, street lights, etc. These glasses play a significant role in promoting your sleep patterns and balancing your biological clock.