How Does Blue Light Impact on Sleep?

Research has shown that various colors of light can have varied effects on human beings and can cause you problems if you wish to fall asleep. For instance, light in the blue wavelength can be tremendously beneficial during daylight hours. Light of this kind can elevate reaction times, focus attention, and have a positive effect on mood. However, at night those effects can be damaging, especially to sleep patterns. This type of light is emitted by electronic screens and also energy-efficient lighting, so it is often encountered after the sun has set.

Lighting and Sleep

Circadian rhythms affect when and how often we sleep – and they are often unique to the individual. The total length of the circadian cycle in human beings is about 24 hours and 15 minutes. Those that stay awake deep into the night may boast a cycle that is slightly longer. Those who wake with the first glimmers of dawn may have slightly shorter rhythms. In 1981, Dr. Charles Czeisler (Harvard Medical School) demonstrated that daylight was key in keeping our internal clocks in tune with environmental factors to promote restful sleep.

The Dangers of Night time Light Exposure

There are some studies that indicate a link between nighttime light exposure (night shift workers are especially susceptible) to heart disease, diabetes – and obesity. There’s very little ironclad evidence (to date) linking light exposure during the night and these conditions – but anecdotal evidence and the preliminary studies do seem to indicate that there is some sort of connection – the question is why?

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