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Is Blue Light Disturbing Your Sleep? Digital Devices and Your Health

 

Studies show that more than 60 percent of people spend at least five hours a day using digital devices, and almost 15 percent spend 10 or more hours in front of a screen each day.


In addition to disrupting sleep, early research shows that blue light may also be linked to other health problems, including:

  • Eyestrain

  • Eye disease, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes

  • Some types of cancer


More than 90 percent of people look at some type of screen within an hour of going to bed. If you regularly watch a flat-screen TV or use a computer or mobile device before bedtime, it can impact your sleep—as much as 14 minutes, on average. That’s because these devices emit a blue light that can affect the release of melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep, in the body.

 

Blue light can also reduce your REM sleep. This can leave you feeling groggy the next day, even after a full night’s rest.

The Importance of Sleep


Getting a good night’s sleep is important for both your physical and mental health. Studies show a lack of sleep can lead to:

  • Less productivity during the day

  • Trouble concentrating and making decisions

  • Mood swings or depression

  • Increased risk for diabetes

  • Overweight

  • Increased risk for colds and other common infections

Tips to Reduce Your Risk


The best way to reduce your risk for sleep problems and other health issues from blue light is to reduce your exposure, especially before bedtime. Try to avoid using digital devices for an hour or two before bed. If this isn’t possible, dim the brightness on your screen. You can also install a special app on your devices that changes the light to warmer colors starting at dusk.  
 
 

© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.