Blue light health crisis
When we think about environmental toxins, we certainly don’t think about light. We more so think about heavy metals, GMO’s, chemicals found in cleaning products or around the house, BPA, etc... However, there is one environmental toxin that is all around us 24/7 in large quantities. That toxin is ARTIFICIAL BLUE LIGHT.
Blue light? How can a specific color of light be a toxin? It’s not that any color light in particular is harmful for our health. In this case, it’s the dose that creates the toxin. Blue light is essential for cognitive function and is what sets our circadian rhythm in response to AM light. Without enough blue light we can become depressed and feel lethargic. However, the majority of us get too much blue light which is now shown to increase aging and create other undesirable health effects. In order to understand why excessive exposure to blue light is harmful for our health we need to understand that certain wavelengths of light are “bio-active”. This means that certain types of light create powerful changes in our biology. We sometimes forget that we’ve spent over 4.6 billion years outside in nature, and every cell in our body is optimized, or calibrated, to the various changes in sunlight throughout the day. As mentioned above, blue light sets the circadian rhythm, UV light synthesizes vitamin D, red and infrared light help improve the health of our mitochondria and create energy.
Blue lights importance of setting our circadian rhythm in the morning is absolutely essential for melatonin creation and dopamine release. It alerts our brain that its daytime, and subsequently, sets of a chain reaction of biological events congruent with that time of day. In essence, OUR CELLS FOLLOW THIS RHYTHM. It is called our circadian rhythm, and different lights at different times control our cellular behavior and hormonal balance based on what light we are exposed to or perceiving with our eyes. Thanks to modern technology, I.E artificial lighting and our electronic devices, we have broken the laws of nature and thus distort our circadian health. This is associated with poor eyesight, inflammation, anxiety/depression, insulin resistance, and a long list of other problems. Most artificial light is proportionately higher in blue because it is bright, produces less heat and is more energy efficient. Unfortunately, we pay a high price for this “energy efficient” light.
Human biology is largely impacted by color temperature. Blue happens to be an extremely high color temperature in contrast to orange or red. The high color temperature of blue is associated with day time so every time we look at our phone, TV, computer, or laptop at night, we’re telling our brain it is noon. We wonder why sleep is becoming an ever increasing problem throughout the world? Blue light delays melatonin secretion at night. If we don’t sleep well, our brains don’t recover from stress and become inflamed. Poor sleep is correlated with depression, anxiety, ADHD, ADD, forgetfulness, irritability, and the list goes on…We not only need melatonin for sleep but we also need it to help protect our brain and repair damage done to mitochondria. This makes blocking blue light at night absolutely essential for cognitive function, mood, and the prevention of chronic disease. This is one more reason why blue blocking glasses are absolutely essential for health and wellbeing.
The harsh truth is that human biology cannot adapt quickly enough to protect itself from advancements in technology. Humans must become greater than their environment and outwit their own accomplishments by protecting themselves from their very own creation: Technology.