Bring Back Balance
In this blog we are going to cover how to restore your Brain & Body after excess blue light exposure at night, for a long period of time.
- Circadian Rhythms disruptions
- Studies on the effects of these disruptions
- Blue light blockers
- Benefits of wearing blue light blockers
Circadian Rhythm Disruptions
Anyone that has stayed up all night or has experienced jet lag, knows how challenging it can be for the body.
What is the circadian rhythm?
Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. One of the most important and well-known circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle.
Different systems of the body follow circadian rhythms that are synchronized with a master clock in the brain. This master clock is directly influenced by environmental cues, especially light, which is why circadian rhythms are tied to the cycle of day and night. (1)
Disrupting the natural circadian rhythm of the body long term can have seriously negative consequences for the brain and the body causing weight gain and impulsive behaviour to mention just two.
A common way in which we disturb our circadian rhythm long term without being much aware of it, is by exposing our eyes and therefore our brains to blue light at night.
As we explain in the blog Why use blue light glasses before the invention of artificial light, the sun was the only light regulating our sleep schedules. After sunset, the red colors before darkness would signal our brains that it was time to produce melatonin (the hormone that triggers sleep) and prepare the body for sleep.
Nowadays, our eyes still receive blue light at night, which in consequence delays or even suppresses melatonin production, making it more difficult to fall asleep and causing important disruptions to our circadian rhythms.
Studies On The Effects Of These Disruptions
A study published on the 28th of October 2009 in the Society for Neuroscience issue, found that chronic disruption of one of the most basic circadian (daily) rhythms — the day/night cycle — lead to weight gain, impulsivity, slower thinking, and other physiological and behavioral changes in mice, similar to those observed in people who experience shift work or jet lag. (2)
One of the lead authors of that study, Ilia Karatsoreos, PhD, of Rockefeller University mentioned how their finding had implications for humans. “In our modern industrialized society, the disruption of our individual circadian rhythms has become commonplace, from shift work and jet lag to the constant presence of electric lighting. These disruptions are not only a nuisance, they can also lead to serious health and safety problems,” he said. (2)
Blue Light Blockers
By wearing blue light glasses, you make sure the brain is not exposed to the blue light which signals your brain that it is not daytime anymore and the melatonin production can proceed.
It is important to wear blue light blockers that have tinted lenses. Not all the blockers cover the same amount of blue light.
The graphic is very self explanatory. Clear lenses are not going to block enough blue light and your brain is still going to believe you are in day time… This means:
- Worse quality of sleep due to decreased melatonin production.
- Increased headaches and tiredness as a result of having a poorer sleep.
- Increased eye strain due to the amount of exposure to blue light.
- Decreased energy levels due to poorer sleep.
- Hormone disruption as a result of a dysfunctional circadian rhythm or internal body clock.
- Worse mood as a result of all the previous consequences.
Benefits Of Wearing Blue Light Blockers
There are a lot of benefits associated with wearing blue light glasses besides the hormone regulation caused once the circadian rhythm or internal body clock has adjusted to the new routine.
The most common benefits that people experience include:
- Better quality of sleep due to increased melatonin production.
- Reduced headaches and tiredness as a result of having a better sleep.
- Reduced eye strain by decreasing the amount of exposure to blue light.
But people also report:
- Increased energy levels due to better sleep.
- Better mood as a result of all the previous benefits.
If you are exposed to blue light late in the day and at the same time are experiencing:
- Weight gain
- Slower thinking
- Physiological and behavioral changes
Your circadian rhythm is probably disrupted and needs to be rebalanced. Using blue light glasses daily and making sure you create a consistent sleep routine, is a very easy way to fix the problem and help your body regain its natural 24h cycle.
Discover our range of Blue light blockers HERE.