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REVIEW of Health 34
Blue Light - Sleepless Night?
The dangers of LED screens at bedtime

Not too many people these days have no exposure whatever to some kind of electronic technology. The Internet is accessible via PC's, laptops, iPads and smart phones. They provide information and entertainment; but used at the wrong time over prolonged periods, all can be detrimental to health. The problem is the Blue Light these appliances emit. This is the same as sunlight, although in much lower doses; and what it does is keep us awake. Staring at a screen last thing at night may seem pretty harmless and could be thought to help one wind down before sleep. Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect.

Blue Light suppresses Melatonin, the hormone produced by the body to regulate sleep, and it can work against the darkness of night time which is Nature's way of cuing sleep. Too much Blue Light in the late evening can make falling asleep difficult and also has a tendency to trigger mental stimulation which invades restful sleep. Having a read at bedtime generally helps a person relax; but only with a hard-back book. Staring at the screen of an eReader does the reverse. Even texting back and forth for an hour or more is inadvisable.

Playing games on the iPad or phone late at night is just as bad, perhaps more so because other metabolic chemicals are released. The excitement of the chase, the concentration required to beat the game produce Adrenalin and Dopa. Along with Melatonin, they suppress the desire to sleep; and over days, weeks and months, this nightly habit will eventually lead to constant tiredness, mood changes and ill health.

There are other sources of Blue Light in every home. Read about them in the full article

To read the complete article or download the PDF of Health 34 click here

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