How blue light affects our sleep, eyes and skin with Dhruvin Patel
We’ve all heard that blue light is bad for us.
Spending too much time in front of our screens affects our eyes, our skin and our sleep, yet we still have to use our laptops and phones for work, open our fridges, drive our cars in the dark with headlights on.
So, what exactly is blue light and how can we protect ourselves from it?
This is where Dhruvin Patel comes in.
Dhruvin is an optometrist and the Founder and CEO of the heath-tech business Ocushield. They are the creators of the world’s first FDA registered blue-light blocking screen protectors, which mean fresher feeling eyes and improved sleep after screen use.
What is blue light and why should we limit our exposure to it?
When we look at the spectrum of light, on the far left we have ultraviolet light (0 - 400 nanometers); we don’t see it but we know we have to protect ourselves from it - with sunglasses. In the middle of the spectrum, we have visible light (400 - 800 nanometers); this is where the blue light is (380 - 500 nanometers). At the far right of the spectrum, (over 800 nanometers) we have radio waves, X-ray waves, etc.
Dhruvin explains that the reason why we should be concerned about blue light is that because it has a shorter wavelength of light than red light it carries more energy. That means that not a lot of blue light is required for it to have an effect on us. Our screens emit blue light more than any other color on the spectrum. On top of that, we are looking at our screens directly from a very small distance, which enhances the effect of the blue light.
How does blue light affect our sleep, eyes and skin?
In order for us to have a good night’s rest, we need our melatonin levels to rise nicely in the later afternoon and evening. Melatonin is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness. Darkness triggers the body to make more melatonin, which signals the body to sleep. Light suppresses melatonin production and signals the body that it’s daytime. So, by using artificial lighting at night (our laptops, our phones, LED lights) we are slowing down our melatonin production.
As a result, when we go to bed we won’t be able to fall asleep quickly and even if we do, the quality of our sleep will be affected because again, the concentration of melatonin isn't as high as it should be. This can then affect our biological processes of reducing toxins within our brain and body, which are happening if we get a good night’s deep sleep.
Exposure to blue light can also affect our eyes and our skin. According to Dhruvin, in the short term, exposure to blue light causes eye strain, fatigue and headaches; in the long term, blue light has also been shown to contribute to macular degeneration, which is an eye disease that affects our central vision. It’s predicted that by 2050 macular degeneration will be the biggest cause of blindness or visual impairment in humans.
Other effects of blue light
30 hours of screen time increases skin inflammation by 40%. That means a reduction of elasticity in our skin, which actually means early aging. Honestly, I get to 30 hours of screen time a week for sure with work.
And an article published in 2018 pointed to the harmful effects of artificial light exposure for thyroid health.
Some tips from Dhruvin to reduce your exposure to blue light:
- Brightness: Turn down the brightness on your screens at night
- Proximity: If you are using your laptop at night time, have it at arm’s length
- Light bulb: Replace your LED lights with smart light bulbs that emit white light during the day and warmer light at night
Dhruvin’s company Ocushield produces medically (FDA & MHRA) rated screen protectors that filter out harmful blue light, to protect your eyes, skin and help you sleep better. You can use these filters on your laptop, phone or your tablet and they will absorb the harmful blue light to make sure that you can keep using them, without changing the color of your screen. Ocushield also makes blue light blocking glasses as well as an All Day, All Night Oculamp which allows the user to control the color temperature.
Dhruvin kindly offers our listeners and our readers 20% discount on all their products with the code SLEEPBOSS. So make sure you use this amazing opportunity by clicking the link here.*