Young Hands Using A device

Blue Light

Are you like me and worried that you and your family are spending too much time in front of devices these days?

Ironically at the start of 2020 I started researching the effect of blue light on hormonal health and was scared what I learned. Just a couple of months later when lockdown happened, my family of 4 became attached to our devices for school or work for many, many months. Arghhhh! And here in London, we are sadly back in the same situation again.

Natural blue light is of course great for our wellbeing – it helps us stay focussed and energised. However, excess blue light from our devices can affect our melatonin production, cause digital eye strain, increase stress in our body and a small 2010 study suggested that it can even cause skin damage.

I can’t talk about blue light without mentioning blue blocking glasses which have become very popular. Personally, I have found a HUGE difference in my sleep quality by wearing orange-tinted glasses in the evening once the sun goes down. Yes I felt a bit silly donning them at 4pm in the British winter, but oh goodness, my sleep was so restorative that I am a convert. Although I don’t wear them every evening from 4pm, I definitely use them when I watching telly or using a device after sunset. 

And what about daytime screen use? If you feel you are sensitive to blue light or get digital eye strain after using your computer, you may find daytime blue light filtering glasses helpful.

You will know by now that I’m passionate about the simple and affordable ways to good health. So I am always reluctant to recommend anything which involves parting with cash! However, if you are using devices for a large chunk of the day and feel it is impacting your health, you may find blue blocking glasses are a worthwhile investment. It’s important to do your research though as there is a large market to choose from. I bought these daytime glasses from BLUbox and Swannies Night for the evening as these brands are the market leaders. 

Here are other simple and important ways we can reduce our blue light exposure: 

  • Change your phone and computer display to night settings, even during the day
  • Install blue light control technology on your phone and computer like Iris or f.lux
  • Put your technology away by 8pm (yes 8pm!)
  • Get as much natural sunlight as possible and do not overuse sunglasses. Morning sunlight is great for our cortisol awakening response and midday sunshine for our Vitamin D. And yes, you can get both even when it’s a cloudy day, so get out there for that daily dose!
  • See if you can use low tech options more often – a pen and paper to make notes or a telephone rather than video call
  • Take regular breaks from technology

We are not going to be ditching our screens anytime soon, so it’s important that we figure out the best ways to limit the impact it has on us. 

 

Copyright  2022 @ Tara Ghosh