You probably know that melatonin is an important hormone released to help you sleep. It is central to regulating sleep and wakefulness. However, as we are living through the technology age, a powerful melatonin suppressor has emerged. This sleep inhibitor is known as “Blue Light.” No, we aren’t talking about Labatt’s Blue Light, (although a few too many of those can also negatively impact your sleeping patterns) but we are referring to blue light wavelengths emitted by electronic devices, specifically your smartphone.

When you scroll through Facebook or shop on Amazon before bed, you suppress melatonin and negatively influence your circadian rhythm. This is also known as your sleep/wake cycle. Understanding this concept is the first step to better eye health.

Blue Light Exposure from Electronics

The sun is the main source of blue light. However, this is not the greatest concern of eye care professionals. This type of blue light tends to enhance your circadian rhythm, and for most people, isn’t present during their wind-down hours. Doctors worry more about blue light emitted from electronic devices, like smartphones, LED lights, flat Screen TVs, energy-efficient light bulbs, etc. Reasons include:

  • Shorter proximity to device equals increased magnitude of high energy wave lengths
  • 1/3 of your waking hours is spent on a mobile device – source HuffPo

Short term consequences of constant blue light exposure from electronics include:

  • Makes it longer to fall asleep
  • Reduces rapid eye movement, known as “REM” sleep
  • Decreases alertness in morning
  • Possible chronic sleep deficiency

Long term consequences of constant blue light exposure from electronics can be far more detrimental, and studies show that when constantly exposed to blue light, there is an increased risk of:

  • Transitory blindness
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Depression

Protect Your Eyes from Blue Light

Your eyesight is something you don’t want to gamble with. Taking the necessary precautions will improve your overall eye health and well being. We suggest you remove technology from your life 2-3 hours before bed every night. More realistically, though, you could invest in blue-light blocking glasses. Ranging from $10 to $40 (on the higher side), this can be a large step in taking better care of your eyes.

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David Lemieux, BA from Oakland University is a LASIK expert and marketing professional that has worked with Dr. Dan Haddad and the Laser Eye Institute since 2017. David believes in education and cutting through the noise to deliver facts and opinions about LASIK, SMILE, and all things Laser Vision Correction.