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Blue Light from Electronics Disrupts Sleep Alexandria, VA Chiropractor

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Blue Light from Electronics Disrupts Sleep Alexandria, VA Chiropractor

The world we live in is a strange one for our bodies that evolved, adapted, and developed to exist in a world where then sun was solely responsible for providing the light that we use to see.  Fast forward to the invention of the light bulb.  Our lives changed, but the equipment in our body did not.  Light sensitive photoreceptors in our eye are the gatekeepers for complex and important nerve and hormone activated pathways.  What this means is that artificially created light being present all around us 24 hours a day is stimulating these pathways when they normally would not be.  Furthermore, the electronics that have steadily becoming a bigger part of our lives over the past 30 years throw off a high proportion of blue light – known by physicists to be the high frequency light waves that occur on the visible light spectrum.  Not only are we getting way more light then we built for, we are getting different types of light intensities than was intended for the design of our eyes.  What could go wrong?

Well as it turns out – quite a bit, particularly as it relates to our sleep.  Sleep is dependent on the release of a hormone called melatonin which regulates your body’s entire sleep cycle.  The whole process is collectively called your circadian rhythm.  The blue light from our electronics is a potent disruption of the proper coordination of melatonin and sleep.  It’s like turning off the GPS before your cross country road trip and seeing where you end up – often times not where you want to go.

Sleep problems are skyrocketing and although the issues are multi-factorial, the blue light part of the equation often gets missed.  People over the age of 14 are getting an average of 9-12 hours of electronic screen time EVERY DAY.  It’s more impressive that anybody sleeps at all.  So I’m not saying go off the grid and build a log cabin to live out your days in.  I am saying that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.  If we’re not sleeping enough and the sleep we are getting is not high quality – there is a cap being put on health and the amount that the body and mind will be capable of.  Here are some small changes that can go a long way:

  1. No electronics 1 hour before bed
  2. Wear blue light blocker glasses when you are on your electronics after the sun goes down.  These are special glasses that filter out blue light
  3. Avoid having LED lights in your bedroom

Electronics are here to stay and can be lived with peacefully.  However, it is our responsibility to understand how our body functions so that we can use technology to aid us rather than burn us out.  Sleep is one of the most critical pieces of our health and limiting the amount of impact that blue light has on us is a big step in the right direction for improving wellness.

Jake Dodds
Jake Dodds
Dr. Jake is an upper cervical chiropractor in Alexandria, VA. His burning desire is to bring more health into the world, particularly as it relates to men in the family setting. He enjoys guitar, soccer, Calvin and Hobbes, and hanging out with his family.
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