Light is made up of particles that travel in waves which emit energy. These particles range in length and strength for example the shorter the wavelength the higher the energy, and the longer the wavelength the lower the energy. Wavelengths of light are measured in nanometres (nm) and each wavelength range is a different colour below as the graph shows.
Blue light is a colour in the visible light spectrum, along with green, yellow, orange and red. Blue Light falls within the 400-500nm range.
The shorter the wavelength; the higher the energy. Blue light is the shortest in the visible spectrum and of the highest energy. In the lower half of its range (400-450nm) it is known for causing physical eye damage such as macular degeneration. In the upper half of its range (450-500nm) it is known for disrupting Melatonin, the hormone affecting sleep and health in general.
Blue light is found both naturally and artificially. When you go outside blue light is emitted from the sun, but it is only and always delivered with the rest of the spectrum and balanced out by a proportionately large amount of Red. It’s proportion also varies over the course of the day from sunrise to noon, to sunset. In modern artificial lighting blue is predominant, delivered in spikes, and diminished of the full spectrum. Blue light from the sun is essential in regulating your sleep and wake cycles and your body clock, it has also been shown to improve alertness, reaction times and create a sense of wellness. Blue light from the sun is essential to maintaining overall health and well being.
When there was no blue light present it meant sundown and darkness. Our body clocks and sleep wake cycles are entrained by blue and green light. In the morning when we see blue light from the sun it tells our brain that its day time and to make us feel alert and awake. When the sun sets and it becomes dark, the removal of blue and green light tells our brain its night-time. This sends a signal to the brain to secrete melatonin (sleep hormone) which then makes us feel sleepy and eventually sends us to sleep.
Today we are flooded in blue light 24/7. We carry artificial suns in our pockets. Every time we look at our smartphone we send a signal to the brain that the sun is up. In modern society, after dark, we now switch on our cell phones, watch TV or turn on our house lights which all contain blue light. This blue light sends a message to the brain telling us its day time, so we do not need to relax or feel sleepy, but stay alert and awake.
Blue light exposure at night is impacting our circadian rhythm, our sleep, and our overall health.
The problem with modern devices such as cell phones, LED light bulbs, TVs and other forms of energy efficient light is that these put out a lot of light in the blue spectrum. You can see in the image below how various light bulbs have different levels of blue light and their effect on melatonin (the sleep hormone).
1) Get natural sunlight in the early morning to set your circadian rhythm and body clock to start creating Melatonin that the evening, the hormone responsible for sleep and healing.
2) Reduce Artificial Blue Light sources by replacing conventional light bulbs in your house which are all high in blue light with our scientifically designed Sleep Enhancing Bulbs and Red LED night lights - these remove all the blue light from your home. This is important as our skin also has light receptors which are impacted by the artificial light as well.
3) Wear BlockBlueLight Glasses designed to protect your eyes from 100% of the blue light from screens and LED lighting, one the sun has set. Doing so will help you release Melatonin early enough to get quality sleep, allowing your body to restore, recover, and heal.
For more information on Blue light and Sleep head over to our blog.
For more information about how blue light from looking at screens is having an impact on your sleep please read this: "Is screen time ruining your sleep?"
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