According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, approximately four out of 10 Americans bring their cell phone with them to bed when it’s time to go to sleep. If you’ve ever wondered what’s keeping you up at night, there’s a good chance it’s that blue light technology you’re so glued to.
While our primary focus at KOR is nutrition, we’re equally invested in your overall wellness routine, which includes getting a good night’s sleep. For that reason, we want to give you all the info about how technology disrupts your shut eye and ways to mitigate the problem.
Interested in sleeping faster, longer, and deeper? We got in touch with the experts for their take on why you’re having trouble nodding off and a few little tweaks you can make to enjoy more restful nights.
Here’s what they said:
Blue light technology disrupts your sleep – this is why:
Light plays a role in aligning your circadian rhythm. When you are exposed to blue light through artificial lights and electronics before bedtime, the secretion of melatonin (the hormone that makes us feel drowsy) is suppressed. Being exposed to blue light later in the night can trick your brain into thinking it's daytime. Blue light signals your brain to regulate alertness and consciousness. The misalignment of circadian rhythms can lead to negative health impacts, including mental health conditions such as depression.
Kevin Daly, Marketing Manager, Zevo Health
While light of any kind can inhibit the production of melatonin, blue light has the most impact. Blue light can disrupt your circadian rhythm twice as much as green light. Thus, too much exposure to blue light before bedtime can affect your sleep. A messed-up circadian rhythm can affect your health negatively. When your circadian rhythm is misaligned for many years, you put yourself at greater risk of stress-related conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Oliver Martin, Sales & Marketing Manager, National MRSI
Gives your brain the wrong signals
Blue light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum of visible light that is emitted by laptops, televisions, cell phones, tablets, fluorescent and LED lights, as well as the sun.
Blue light has a very short wavelength and produces a higher amount of energy, which boosts awareness and mood, while heightening reaction times, increasing feelings of well-being, and suppressing melatonin (the sleep hormone).
Exposure to blue light in the morning and afternoon is good, because your circadian rhythm is set by light and by heat, but exposure to blue light at night tells your brain that it's early, and it should be awake. It goes without saying: that's not a good thing when it's time for bed.
Ryan Fiorenzi, Certified Sleep Coach and Founder, Start Sleeping
Convinced about the link between blue light and sleep? Here are three ways to prevent blue light technology from interfering with your zzz's:
Use orange and yellow-colored lights around your home
It's an easy way to reduce blue light exposure around your home, according to Nature Portfolio. These lights can be as simple as Himalayan salt lamps, which are relatively inexpensive. Making this shift will benefit your sleep, as it will reduce blue light exposure.
James de Lacey, Strength & Conditioning Coach, MSc
Blue light glasses
If you need to stay up to respond to emails and work at night (it happens to the best of us), blue light glasses can help deflect the light being absorbed by your eyes. This will help when you want to fall asleep just a few minutes after you are done with your work.
Michael Fischer, Founder, Elitehrt
Blue light filters
My top recommendation is to make sure your devices have blue light filters that stop using blue light within a few hours of bed. Your cell phone may have a blue light filter that automatically filters out blue light as it gets darker, giving your screen more of a yellow color. If you don't have this function, I suggest you download a blue light filter in your app store for your computer, phone, and tablet.
In addition to reducing exposure to blue light before bedtime, there are several steps you can take to improve your nightly routine, such as eating for optimal sleep.
Looking for an additional sleepy time supplement? KOR’s Sweet Dreams functional shot contains 1 mg of melatonin and 400 mg of chamomile for promoting more restful nights. Made from dreamy watermelon, pineapple, lime, and ginger juices, this nighttime elixir will help you drift off to your best rest yet.