How blue light affects sleep

BBC Science Focus magazine expert explainsIn fact, blue light is not always harmful to humans. Sometimes it even has a beneficial effect on sleep. Read more in the material.DiscussHow blue light affects sleep

A person is exposed to blue light not only when working at a computer or when “sitting” in gadgets. This also happens during a normal walk in the fresh air. However, according to the author, in this case, a large amount of blue light can help you get a good night's sleep. Also, a 2017 study (published in the journal Sleep Health) found that employees who spent more time in the sun in the mornings slept better, were less likely to be depressed, and experienced less stress.

At the same time, if you sit in front of a laptop or smartphone for too long in the evening (which have “blue screens”), this will negatively affect falling asleep. Scientists from the University of Haifa in Israel found in 2017 that exposure to blue light in the evening reduced sleep by an average of 16 minutes. In addition, such light reduces the production of melatonin, which affects sleep and circadian rhythms. Therefore, experts advise completely abandoning the use of gadgets 60 minutes before going to bed. You can also reduce screen brightness or put devices into night mode.

How blue light affects sleep

Blue light is also used in medicine. For example, there are special lamps designed to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A study conducted at the Utah State University Mood Disorders Clinic in 2009 showed a reduction in depressive symptoms after three weeks in 60 percent of subjects. Scientists believe that such therapy can increase the production of serotonin and melatonin.

In addition, this treatment is used for inflammatory skin diseases (psoriasis, atopic dermatitis).

Source: BBC Science Focus Magazine