Current DateSeptember 19, 2021

Blue light and its effect on sleep

Do you regularly struggle to fall asleep, or not be able to sleep well? Maybe that’s caused by blue light. Not by a blue lamp, but by the bluish LED light of a screen.

After all, we are using luminous screens more and more often and for longer nowadays. Not only do you watch TV, but you are also active on a computer, laptop or smartphone during the day. Most of these screens emit blue light by using LED technology. However, this blue light affects our biological clock – and can disrupt sleep. With structural sleep deprivation, this can lead to concentration problems. However, limiting exposure to blue light at key moments can provide relief.

Why is blue light harmful?

First of all: fortunately, the light itself is not harmful. Blue light is something that also occurs in nature, for example in sunlight. However, as long as you are exposed to blue light, your biological clock ensures that you do not yet produce melatonin – the body’s own sleep hormone. Frequent exposure to blue light can thus cause a disturbance of this rhythm. After all, your body thinks it’s still day, which makes it harder to fall sleep.

Although many people suffer from this, some people are more sensitive to it than the others. Do you notice that you regularly have trouble falling asleep, or get less sleep than you actually need? Then try to slowly reduce the lighting during the evening.

How to use blue light wisely

  • The most important tip: turn off the screens well before bedtime. Give your eyes an hour to unwind before you go to sleep.
  • Adjust the brightness of the screen in the last hours of use. Many digital devices have a night mode, which is friendlier to the eyes.
  • Always keep the screen of a tablet or smartphone at some distance from the eyes. Too close is not good.
  • Its efficacy as ‘the opposite of blue light’ has not yet been extensively proven, but some swear by red or orange lighting before sleeping.
  • Try a blue light filter. You can use this as foil over a screen, via an app on tablet or smartphone, and there are even glasses with blue light filter.

Do you still have trouble sleeping after this? Then try these general sleep tips.

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