So we’ve all heard it: Tablets, TVs and phones are taboo before bed, interrupting sleep patterns and making it hard to get solid zzzzs. It’s something most of us now but few of us follow.
Read this, however, and you may actually start heeding the research:
Did you know that your brain interprets the blue light emitted by devices as — get this — sunshine? Checking Facebook is a neurological reveille, signaling your body to get up and Adam.
“Ten minutes of a smartphone in front of your nose is about the equivalent of an hour long walk in bright daylight. Imagine going for an hour long walk in bright daylight and then thinking, “Now I’ll get some sleep.” It ain’t going to happen. In the middle of the night you wake up and think, “Aw, I’ll just check Twitter, email or Facebook,” and, of course, you’re being flooded with that blue light. You’re not going to be getting back to sleep very easily for the next hour or so.” Richard Wiseman, author of Night School: Wake up to the power of sleep.
Read the full article here.
And, yes, while all light can challenge the quality and duration of sleep, it’s the blue light that really sets you up for a sleep fail.
A Harvard study compared the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).
Read more here.
Then do this: Turn off all screens 1-2 hours before bed. Really want to read? Opt for a red light bulb. Say, what? Compared to all light sources, red bulbs have least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.