Most of us use our gadgets well into the night. It’s most likely the last thing we look at before sleep, and the first thing we look at when we wake up. According to a Khaleej Times report (22/1/2021) 65% of UAE residents do not get proper sleep and one of the reasons for this is smart phone usage. This is where the impact of the blue light emitted from our mobiles plays a role.
What is Blue Light?
Light is composed of electromagnetic waves that emit energy. Every wavelength is represented by a color. The human eye can detect only one part of the spectrum named as visible light. Visible light waves are seen in colors such as indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, indigo and red. Blue light has a shorter wavelength — between 255 and 415 nanometers — and are higher energy waves.
Research has shown that overexposure to blue light can damage our eye muscles. Since, most digital gadgets have LED lights with wavelengths between 400 and 490 nanometers, it is obvious that prolonged exposure to screens can weaken our eye muscles especially during night-time, when our eyes are naturally tired after a long day.
Effects of Blue Light on Sleep
Over-exposure to blue light can cause eye strain which may manifest as:
- Dry eyes
- Irritated eyes
- Tired eyes
- Damaged eye muscles
It also affects our sleep cycle. How? By suppressing the production of the sleep-promoting hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is secreted as part of our sleep-wake cycle and is affected by our exposure to light. Its secretion usually acts as a cue for the body that it is time to sleep. However, the blue light emitted by our mobiles disrupts this internal system, thus affecting the quality of our sleep.
Sleep deprivation, in turn, could lead to:
- Heart Disease
- Irregular Heartbeat
- High Blood Pressure
- Weight Gain
- Loss of Memory & Focus
How to Reduce the Effects of Blue Light
- Take adequate breaks when using digital gadgets.
- Try to keep digital gadgets away at least 2 hours before bedtime.
- Wear glasses that protect the eyes from blue light.
- Consider visiting an ophthalmologist once a year.
- Follow a healthy diet, incorporating foods rich in vitamins and minerals that nourish and strengthen the eyes.
Yoga offers many techniques that help improve eye strength. Palming, blinking and eye rotation exercises done along with proper breathing are some of the best eye exercises. These if done consistently, will result in noticeable improvement.
Enlighten Yoga Center, Pratimoksha, Dubai, incorporates eye exercises as part of its signature Asana & Beyond program. For more information and for a free evaluation with our professional Yoga teachers, get in touch @ 050-395-5613 or write to [email protected].