What is Blue Light?
Blue light is the part of the light spectrum that has a shorter wavelength and as you can imagine the colour we see is blue. This wavelength affects our sleep hormone more than any other. Daylight from the sun has a full spectrum and allows phenomena such as rainbows to occur.
Many of our modern devices are “short-wavelength enhanced” increasing their chances of disrupting natural sleep patterns.
Modern Day Issues with Blue Light
As modern day humans, we get exposure to blue light from many sources other than the sun. TV's, artificial lighting, mobile phones and laptops to name a few.
Blue light basically helps to regulate our secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin.
More blue light = less sleepy and more alert due to less melatonin.
Less blue light = more sleepy due to more melatonin production.
Go back before the invention of light bulbs and other man made light emitting objects and our circadian rhythms would of been largely controlled by the sun. Nowadays we have everyday events from mobile phone chats with your friends at night, to binge watching your favourite TV show on your 60 inch screen emitting blue light at all times of the day we choose.
As you can imagine using a bright phone, tablet or laptop screen at night before trying to go to sleep will limit your production of melatonin. This will negatively affect your sleep quality and the time it takes for you to fall asleep. We all know sleep is a key component to making any kind of Gainz in life.
While you may see advice such as don't use any devices for 2-3 hours before sleep or to wear blue light blocking goggles in the evenings. For many of us these two options are not realistic, desirable or sustainable.
If you struggle to fall asleep within 15-20 minutes at night, or would like to have a better quality of sleep, some MyGainz recommended steps to take are:
Install a program or app that automatically limits the amount of blue light emitted by your device and as such can improve your sleep quality. These programs will adjust your screen accordingly based on the time of day to best help you get into your natural ciracadin cycle.
MyGainz Recommended: F.lux
Get it here: https://justgetflux.com/
MyGainz Recommended: F.lux
Get it here: https://justgetflux.com/dlmac.html
MyGainz Recommended: Twilight
MyGainz Recommended: NightShift
Get it here: This is part of release iOS 9.3
Tip Number 2
Get a remote controlled LED light bulbs for the room/s you spend most of your time at night. Then you can change the colour to red, amber, yellow or any other colour you like that contains less blue light. My personal favourite is red.
MyGainz Recommended: AURAGLOW 10w Remote Control Colour Changing LED Light Bulb
Notes: Make sure you select the correct type either bayonet or screw cap
Tip Number 3
In the last 30 minutes before sleep, try to switch out from TV watching and instead do something such as:
- journal writing or planning for the next day
- sex (ideally with someone else )
- massage / foam rolling
Tip Number 4
Finally, during the day try to get some more sunlight, this will help maximise your circadian rhythm peaks. Being more alert and awake during the day can help you get a deeper sleep at night. So get those curtains open during the day and try to get outside. If you work, going for a walk at lunchtimes can help here.
Try these 4 tips out and see how you get on. There is no better way to learn then to try for yourself.
In summary blue light exposure is all about timing. Get bright light from the sun during the day, and limit blue light exposure close to bedtime.
Better sleep equals a better you.