We all probably have a basic understanding of how natural light affects humans on matters such as mood and sleep cycle. While we know the right amount of natural sunlight is important, the matter of blue light sources are a growing concern and many people overlook this important element of lighting. Here's what you need to know about the effects from blue lights and how to find the right balance.
What is blue light?
Before we dive into the effects from blue lights, we need to cover what it is and how it's different from natural sunlight. Blue light is any light that falls on the cooler side of the light spectrum and omits a blue wavelength. To put this in perspective compared to natural light which is ideal and good for human health, blue lights are similar to natural light in color and a few effects, but there are precautions to take with blue lights that natural light is exempt from for the most part. Blue light can come from light fixtures occasionally but more commonly comes from electronics such as computers, phones, and tablets.
What are the positive effects from blue lights?
Just like sunshine can give humans a boost in mood by way of vitamin D, blue lights from artificial sources can have positive effects on the mood. Blue lights can increase alertness and productivity while elevating the mood which makes them especially useful in the daytime when most people are active or working.
What are the negative effects of blue lights?
The negative effects from blue lights are still being studied but a general understanding of its effect can be seen in sleep cycles. When humans are exposed to blue light during the evening when the body is meant to wind down and prepare for sleep, it can disrupt this cycle and make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep once asleep. When the sleep cycle is disrupted, it can lead to poor attitude, fatigue, and even a propensity towards obesity according to several studies.
How can I avoid blue light sleep disruptions?
The biggest source of blue light sleep disruption is the cell phone. If you are having trouble sleeping and think blue lights may be the reason, put the phone, computer, television, and other screens away a few hours before bed. You should also pay attention to the lights in your home. If the lights in your home are on the blue, cool end of the light temperature spectrum, it could be disturbing your sleep. If this is the case, consider switching the lamps to solutions more on the yellow and warm side to get back to a restful night of sleep.