How Blue Light Exposure can Affect Your Health

Wondering where blue light comes from? The sun’s light is scattered in all directions by tiny molecules of air in the atmosphere and blue is scattered more than other colors, because it travels in shorter, smaller waves. This is where blue light comes from and why we see the sky blue most of the time.  Now the natural blue light from the sun helps you regulate your sleep cycle, boost alertness, elevate your mood and make you feel good, so it is actually GOOD for you.

How Blue Light Exposure can Affect Your Health

The issue with blue light is the excessive exposure to artificial sources of blue light in electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and laptop computers, as well as energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs and LED lights. With artificial lighting and new technology, our evenings are now always illuminated, and we spend hours and hours behind screens. Remember that before artificial lighting, the sun was the primary source of illumination and people would spend their evenings in mostly darkness.

Exposure to blue light at night throws our body’s clock out of whack and suppresses the secretion of melatonin, making our sleep suffer and according to Harvard researchers even contributing to things like heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer and more.

Our eyes’ natural filters do not provide sufficient protection against blue light rays from the sun, let alone the blue light emanating from these devices. Prolonged exposure to blue light may cause retinal damage and contribute to age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to loss of vision.

With technology taking over our lives we are gradually being exposed to more and more sources of blue light and for more extended periods of time. This is why it is so important to be mindful when using digital devices.

How Blue Light Exposure can Affect Your Health

What can I do to protect myself from the harmful effects of blue light exposure? 

Below you will find a few recommendations that can help combat the negative effects of blue light exposure.

  • When staring at your devices be sure to take frequent breaks, move away from the screen at least every hour to give your eyes a break.
  • Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed. If you can’t avoid looking at screens at night-time, it is recommended to wear blue light blocking glasses. We recommend a pair like these inexpensive ones from Amazon: US/CAN
  • Try to expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day that will help boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.

How Blue Light Exposure can Affect Your Health

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela and I am a Canadian mom living in Vancouver with my wonderful husband and two happy little boys. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!
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11 responses to “How Blue Light Exposure can Affect Your Health”

  1. Calvin — January 9, 2018 @ 1:14 pm (#)

    The new samsung phones filter out blue light, some monitors have that setting too. There’s a free app/program called twilight , also another called f.lux for pc. It’s great for this.

    Reply

  2. lori galbraith — January 11, 2018 @ 3:39 pm (#)

    I wonder how this relates to those who live northern and have longer periods of light in general.

    Reply

  3. Carole D — January 11, 2018 @ 5:32 pm (#)

    When I worked I had a screen protector plus my office had a protecting coat because my eyes are really sensitive.

    Reply

  4. Debbie White Beattie — January 13, 2018 @ 1:40 am (#)

    I’ve got tinted glasses that I got from my eye doctor and I’ve also got a pair of yellow tinted glasses from amazon and they really help

    Reply

  5. Erin N — January 13, 2018 @ 12:00 pm (#)

    I am so bad.. I often am on my phone or watching Tv late at night :/ thank you for the info!

    Reply

  6. Elizabeth Matthiesen — January 13, 2018 @ 5:21 pm (#)

    I didn’t know that blue light can affect your health so much.

    Reply

  7. Alayne Langford — January 14, 2018 @ 8:07 am (#)

    Thank you for an important post! I would like to start going device free on weekends because I am pretty sure it is affecting my health!

    Reply

  8. Jennifer Wilson — January 14, 2018 @ 11:20 am (#)

    My new tablet has a setting to filter out the blue light and I find it really makes a difference.

    Reply

  9. Sarah alexis — February 1, 2018 @ 7:47 am (#)

    Eek. this is scary. I never knew about this – or even thought about it! My kids and I are getting more exposure than we should!

    Reply

  10. LisaM — February 4, 2018 @ 6:10 am (#)

    I wonder if there’s a way to change the settings on the devices too.

    Reply

  11. AD — February 4, 2018 @ 12:36 pm (#)

    I know that companies who invent technology are trying to change the light from these screens… But I do know it can affect us tremendously. I used to have a computer in my bedroom years ago and the lights from the on/off buttons used to cause sleep disturbance. Everything changed when I moved to a larger place with a separate office.

    Reply

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