Study: Blue Light-emitting Electronic Devices Affect Sleep And Health

Source: Linked In
…Short-wavelength blue light plays an important role in your mood, energy level, and sleep quality.
In the morning, sunlight contains high concentrations of this “blue” light…(which) halts production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and makes you feel more alert…(E)xposure to a.m. sunlight can improve your mood and energy levels. In the afternoon, the sun’s rays lose their blue light, which allows your body to produce melatonin and start making you sleepy. By the evening, your brain does not expect any blue light exposure and is very sensitive to it…
Source: Capitol OTC
According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, using electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones before bedtime can alter a person’s sleep pattern with serious repercussions on one’s health. The experiment was conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston…
(I)n the 14-day study, (one group read) from an iPad…for five consecutive nights; the other…read printed books. After a week, the groups switched…The reading sessions lasted…from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. after which the person would sleep until 6 a.m…
The presence of melatonin, a hormone the body produces especially in the evening and helps induce sleepiness was determined through blood tests…brain waves, heart rate, breathing and eye movements…The time needed for the person to become alert the following morning was also evaluated.
The results showed that the iPads readers presented lower melatonin levels in comparison to those who read from printed books. Furthermore, the iPad users needed 10 minutes longer to fall asleep and their REM  (rapid-eye-movement) sleep period was shorter compared to the other group. They also reported feeling sleepier and needed more time to become alert the following morning.
So how do electronic devices like iPads affect out sleep? Anne-Marie Chang, assistant professor of biobehavioral health at Penn University and co-author of the study explained:

“Electronic devices emit a short-wavelength-enriched light, which has a higher concentration of blue light – with a peak around 450 nm – than natural light. This is different from natural light in composition, having a greater impact on sleep and circadian rhythms.”

She added that being sleep deprived has greater effects in real-world situations, in contrast to the “controlled environment” used by researchers. Furthermore, there are studies that associate persistent low levels of melatonin to a higher risk of prostate and breast cancer. In addition to this, prolonged sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity and diabetes.

Luckily there are some devices, such as the Kindle e-reader, that do not emit light and of course, there is always the option of printed books. If the sun isn’t an option for you, try a blue light theraputic device.

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