It’s safe to say most of us spend a lot of time staring at screens. All these devices we are looking at emit blue light. Blue light has very short, high-energy waves which are less powerful than ultraviolet (UV) waves. We’ve been warned about the harmful effects of UV light on our skin and eyes, but what about blue light? Turns out blue light does have some harmful effects, but there are also some beneficial ones too!
Here are 4 ways blue light can affect our health:
Blue light, especially at night, interrupts your circadian rhythm or your sleep cycle. It signals the brain to wake up when you should be winding down. This leads to poor sleep. What can you do? Power down at least 2 hours before bedtime!
Energy metabolism is altered by light exposure. Extended exposure to blue light can trigger metabolic changes that can lead to weight gain over time. Just another reason to power down early!
When people use computers, tablets, and other digital devices it leads to digital eye strain. When staring at these screens, you tend to blink less which means less moisture and more strain on your eyes. What can you do? Get yourself a pair of blue light blocking glasses and wear them when using your digital devices.
Blue light can reduce acne by killing acne-causing bacteria. This leads to a reduction in inflammation that occurs with acne breakouts. It can also improve other skin conditions such as plaque psoriasis and keratosis. It’s important to note, if you plan on trying blue-light therapy at home, make sure the device is approved by the FDA and under the supervision of a dermatologist.
1. Jaiswal S;Asper L;Long J;Lee A;Harrison K;Golebiowski B; Ocular and visual discomfort associated with smartphones, tablets and computers: what we do and do not know. Clinical & experimental optometry. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30663136/. Accessed July 23, 2021.
2. Pei S, Inamadar AC, Adya KA, Tsoukas MM. Light-based therapies in acne treatment. Indian dermatology online journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439741/. Published 2015. Accessed July 23, 2021.
3. Alkozei A, Smith R, Dailey NS, Bajaj S, Killgore WDS. Acute exposure to blue wavelength light during memory consolidation improves verbal memory performance. PloS one. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5602660/. Published September 18, 2017. Accessed July 23, 2021.
4. Rodríguez-Morilla B, Madrid JA, Molina E, Pérez-Navarro J, Correa Á. Blue-Enriched Light Enhances Alertness but Impairs Accurate Performance in Evening Chronotypes Driving in the Morning. Frontiers inpsychology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5962740/. Published May 15, 2018. Accessed July 23, 2021.