We live in a century where humans are at war with darkness. Governments’ and organizations’ appetite for development and twenty-four hour economies have created disruptions on our internal clocks and sleep cycles. This is because of the numerous lights installed in our homes, streest, cars and technologies that we interact with every day.
The lights are a welcome sight because they stimulate our brains and make our environment look beautiful and safe to live in. The lights, not only come from the aforementioned but also from also simple technologies such as mobile phones and television sets.
We tend to watch something on television or browse through our social media sites before going to bed. This might be the case when you wake up in the morning too.
But do you understand the danger lurking in the stimulation and excitement associated with exposure to blue light emitted by these screens?
Bye bye melatonin
Blue light suppresses the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is concerned with activeness (wakeness) and sleepiness.When darkness sets in the evening, melatonin is produced and released into the bloodstream by the pineal gland in huge amounts at night, with the peak of production being at 9 pm. The production goes on for 12 hours when its levels subside to undetectable levels in the bloodstream.
The blue light and bright lights emitted by mobile phones and television sets disrupt the production cycle of melatonin. Once the cycle is disrupted, then the entire internal clock of a human is also affected- mostly the length and quality of sleep is affected.
Looking deeper beyond the above physiological explanation, technologies present services that make life easier but have an impact on our psychological well being. We can read news about another continent, or watch something on youtube, or check our bank balance, or catch the latest episode of your favorite show.
With so many possibilities a click away, your brain does not get the chance to feel restful and actually rest. The excitement and anxiety associated with the above consequently disrupt sleep and can even cause insomnia.
It is important to be conscious that the purpose of technologies is to make life bearable, not difficult. Learn to take charge and choose to keep bright light and blue-light-emitting gadgets away at night. You can choose to put them off completely or refrain from using them at night.
If you must use a certain app before you sleep, then you can use a blue light filter while using your phone at night. I necessarily do not think what you read at night is so important than your sleep because your health depends on sleep, now or later in life.