Problems with Too Much Blue Light
I don’t know about you but the last year my boys (as well as Craig and I) have had more screen time than we ever had in our life!
Covid, lockdowns and being homebound has caused us to seek entertainment on our computers, iPads, phones and television.
All of this screen time has caused us all to be exposed to excessive amounts of blue light! We have shared about how blue light can disrupt sleep HERE and on other posts. Wearing blue and green light blocking glasses in the evening can be very helpful for sleep.
But there is more damage that blue light can do when over exposed to unnatural blue light all day from computer and device screens. Digital eye strain is common when looking at screens for long periods of time. The symptoms include dry eyes, watery eyes, headaches, stiff neck or fatigue. What causes digital eye strain is the high energy visible (HEV) light from these screens. The HEV light is often called blue light when emitted in large amounts like they are from any computer, tv or device. The blue light from devices also flickers at a frequency faster that you can perceive, but that flicker also contributes to the eye strain.
This blue light flicker causes our brains to work harder which can result in headaches or even migraines.
By wearing special computer glasses during the day and especially whenever looking at devices and screens, you can greatly limit eye strain and symptoms of digital eyestrain, fatigue and headaches.
The best computer glasses only filter out the very specific frequencies of blue light that cause this strain. This results in very little distortion of the color of what you are viewing. The Blublox computer glasses are the best we have found for relieving eyestrain while leaving the image on the screen looking un-altered.
Take a look at THIS study. They looked at the blue light wavelengths known to cause eye damage (415 nm and 455 nm). They looked at various studies and the links they showed to damaging effects from high amounts of these high energy blue light frequencies. The negative effects shown in studies include retinal degeneration, damage of blood retinal barrier function, oxidative stress and injury to the retina, increasing rates of myopia and negative effects of too much blue light on circadian rhythm (more on this below).
This study also points out that some blue light is good, especially in the morning to support your circadian rhythm. This is why its good to get some sun exposure in the morning. Stimulate the eye and start your circadian clock. But if you continue throughout the day (like with screens, interior lighting, etc.) there can be damaging effects including retina damage, sleep interruption and more.
The studies conclusion was to prevent all of these problems, wearing blue light blocking computer glasses is the recommended option. Below we talk about just how important it is to block blue light at night with sleep glasses that block out all the blue and green spectrums. But this study shows that it is a good idea to wear computer glasses that block excessive blue light throughout the day form screens and devices.
CLICK HERE to get a set of computer glasses in many different styles.
Use code: MARIA for 20% off!
More About Evening Blue Light and Sleep
Speaking of blue light, comment below on your favorite binge-worthy show you have watched during Covid! I’m currently loving HBO series The Undoing with Nicole Kidman! Mind-blowing! I’d love to know what you are watching!
Anyway, back to blue light. I make sure to wear my BluBlox glasses when I am using screens. Knowing what I know about the damaging effects of blue light makes me want to keep my stylish BluBlox glasses on all night! And now I wear my computer glasses whenever I am working at a computer or using a device during the day too.
Here are a few problems with too much blue light:
Our eye has a receptor that responds to the presence of light and signals the SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus) in our brain. We have known that blue light effects the production of melatonin but it is now shown that some wavelengths of green light also effect melatonin production. The activation of the SCN (presence of blue and green lights in the eye) prevents the pineal gland from producing melatonin, the hormone that signals sleep or drowsiness. The lack of blue light in the eye signals the pineal gland to produce melatonin which inducing drowsiness and natural sleep cycles. This diagram shows this process.
So it is critical that we support our circadian rhythms to enable good sleep cycles. But today we are bombarded by these wavelengths of blue and green light all day long. In the evening when the sun is down and we should natural be setting our circadian clocks for sleep, we have interior lights, computer screens, TVs, phones and more that are bombarding our eyes with these critical blue and green wavelengths of light and interrupting our circadian clocks. If you have trouble falling asleep, adding glasses that block these wavelengths of blue and green light at night time can be the key to naturally falling asleep better and getting better sleep.
“Hormones influence weight loss and weight gain. Controlling your hormones are the key to weight loss!” Maria Emmerich
One hormone I help client’s control is cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol changes throughout the day, with the highest peak being in the morning (to help wake you up), then lowering through the day with the lowers being in the evening.
Most people do not realize how important this hormone is and that how they go about their day can really influence their levels of cortisol.
If you suffer from chronic stress, cortisol levels can become too high. If cortisol stays elevated for a prolonged period of time, it can have an array of negative effects on the body, including high blood sugar levels, weight gain, sleep problems, depression and more. Luckily, there are a few different ways you can naturally lower cortisol!
Too often I have clients that workout later in the day. I mistakenly did this decades ago when I was training for a marathon. My sleep started getting terrible. Why? I was running 12 miles in the afternoon, causing my cortisol to rise, which caused my melatonin to not rise like it should for proper sleep. I ended up gaining weight, despite running for hours. My cortisol was causing issues with my sleep, blood sugars and mood. For more about this, check out THIS book.
So with these tips, and the studies listed above for blocking blue light all through the day, it makes a lot of sense to protest your eyes not only at night for sleep, but whenever using devices or looking at screens for extended periods of time. So a set of computer glasses can help you protect your eye health in addition to a set of sleep glasses for helping with sleep.