Sleep Tip #2 What is Blue Light?

sleep tips blue light

Sleep Tip #2 What is Blue Light?

Here’s our Sleep Tip #2 What is Blue Light? If you’re staying up at night scrolling on your phone, working on your computer or even just watching some Netflix then you’re quite possibly sabotaging your ability to fall asleep.  The light emitted from devices and TVs is called Blue Light. In this article we will explain what is blue light and how it affects your sleep. 

what is blue light

Most people are aware that spending too much time looking at screens late at night can be detrimental to their sleep. But many don’t realise that the blue light emitted by screens can actually interfere with their circadian rhythm.

What is Blue Light?

When you are looking at your phone or anything really, blue light is part of your visible spectrum.  Blue light is an electromagnetic wave of energy.  Most of these waves are invisible however some can be seen by the human eye. The wavelength of these electromagnetic waves is what makes the difference between what is harmful compared to what is not. Less energy is transmitted from a longer wave whereas blue light has very short waves which give high energy.  There is plenty of natural blue light just in the sunshine, however digital screens and LED lights contain artificial sources of blue light. When you’re up during the day, your circadian rhythm (more on that below) knows that it’s time to be awake because there is daylight. If you’re taking in blue light at night time, then you’re sending a message to your circadian rhythm that it is still time to be awake because it is associating this light with sunlight.

What IS your circadian rhythm?

It is your body’s natural 24-hour cycle that dictates when you feel awake and when you feel tired.

As touched on above, when it’s daylight outside, your body associates that with being awake. When night falls, your body starts to produce more of the hormone melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy.  Therefore when you’re exposed to blue light in the evening, it tricks your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This in turn reduces melatonin production and therefore makes it harder to fall asleep.  To find out more about your circadian rhythm, read our blog What IS your circadian rhythm?

There are a few ways to reduce your blue light exposure in the evening:-

  1. Dim the lights in your house a few hours before bedtime. 
  2. Avoid using electronic devices like computers and phones for at least an hour before you go to sleep and;
  3. If you do use electronics in the evening, try wearing blue-light blocking glasses or installing a blue-light filter on your device. 

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By taking these steps, you can help ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. 

For more sleep tips, check out our other blogs here.

Wishing you good nights & days ahead.

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