Have you Weaned Yourself off the Blue Light Drug Yet?
Is blue light a drug?
First, let’s ask, can light itself be a drug? Yes, it can. Research has shown that light can turn on and off hormones in the body. Light can burn your skin, release Nitric oxide and reduce blood pressure, and create vitamin D in the skin.
If you are working in the corporate office, you are most likely surrounded by blue lit Fluorescents and LEDs, multiple devices and screens, and (hopefully) windows that pass through all the blue but stop most of the blue light antidotes (Red and Infrared). Part of breaking free from the corporate prison, I mean workforce, is protecting your brain power and your health. While it might not seem like a big deal, blue light is a drug that’s sapping your will, draining your health, and making your more susceptible to programming. The good news is, that it can be avoided with a few simple steps.
Blue light is all natural. It comes from the Sun. And like everything in nature, there is a time and a place for blue light.
When we see blue light at the wrong time of day, it creates chaos in our body.
This chaos can lead to major issues.
Personally, I think blue light is a drug and some people are so addicted, they need it 24/7.
If there was something you felt you needed in your bedroom while you sleep, your bathroom, in your car, at all hours of the day, I would call it a drug.
Drugs create changes in our body that we get pleasure or positive feedback from.
Most of us are using blue light as a drug and it’s more harmful than we know.
Yes, It’s Real
Here’s just a few photos you can view from around the web about the effects of blue light.
So, you can see that even Google is aware of this and is working hard to reduce your exposure. What does this tell you? It means that it’s a big enough deal for a huge tech company to build a filter into their phone to protect you. Maybe they are worried about getting sued or something.
What does it do?
Blue light is picked up by melanopsin receptors in our eyes and skin. When these receptors read blue light, the create actual physical change in the body.
The blue light stops the body from releasing melatonin and it will take anywhere from 3 minutes to 4 hours to start releasing melatonin again after your body sees blue light. In addition, they body’s response to blue light is to release the stress hormone, Cortisol, which is great during the day when we need to be awake and alert and awful at night when we want to sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces all day in anticipation of night. It can only be released when the body experiences dark.
The problem is, we humans almost NEVER experience dark anymore.
When the sun goes down, our body, expecting to experience darkness gets ready to release the melatonin it’s been making and storing all day.
But the darkness never comes. We keep lights on all night, sometimes even using nightlights in our bedrooms while we sleep. Some of you may think you don’t use a nightlight because you’re not a kid anymore, but next time you go to bed, tell me if you can see your hand in front of your face. If you can, you’re using a nightlight.
So, we need darkness to allow the body to release melatonin and most of us aren’t getting it.
What Does Melatonin Do?
This hormone is responsible for cleaning up damaged cells at night while we sleep. It’s also stated to be critical in the control of sexual reproduction, metabolism and more.
The bottom line is that losing a night’s worth of melatonin can be dangerous.
Where is Blue Light ?
Blue light is found in most lighting sources.
Your cellphone, laptop and tablet contain lots of blue light.
Televisions contain blue light and worse yet, they flicker and rapidly change colors.
The lights in your home contain blue light.
Often your smoke alarm contains blue light.
Blue light doesn’t have to look blue. Often when we flip on our kitchen light, it just looks like light. But LED lights contain high amounts of blue light in the lighting spectrum they provide, and this blue light is just the thing we’re trying to avoid.
Blue light is also massively high in those new LED headlights that bling you every time you drive at night.
Street lights – yep.
This means that if you sleep without a blackout curtain, you may be flooding your bedroom with blue light from the neighbor or form the streetlights outside.
How You Can Protect Yourself?
There are three ways to wean yourself off the blue light drug and protect your precious melatonin, your sleep, and your sanity.
#1 – Darkness – see darkness after sunset. I know, seems crazy that the human biology would be designed to experience darkness after sunset, but it’s true. Humans are not nocturnal and thus our biology is tuned to sleep shortly after sunset. This is best done when camping, when on vacation, or just at home trying something fun where you do not turn on artificial lights after sunset.
We can often do this in the summer, where the sun sets close to bedtime, and we do not need to use lights before bed.
#2 – Use red lights. Red lights have been shown in many studies to not affect melatonin release. It’s almost like your body sees red as darkness. This is because the receptors in our eyes only read the color blue. If you can obtain a pure red light and use it at night, you can avoid the downside of the blue light drug.
We love using Gembared as our night lighting (Discount Code SLEEP).
You can also use the sunlite red light bulbs off Amazon.
Here is the red reading light we use literally every night before bed (Discount Code SLEEP)
#3 – Just do what you normally do but wear blue light blocking glasses. These glasses protect your eyes from getting the blue light from any artificial lighting source. It’s like wearing sunscreen, except while sunscreen might give you cancer, these glasses will help you prevent cancer (according to studies that associate light at night with cancer).
Our favorite glasses are Vivarays, Discount Code SPARKLE
#4 – Get outside at dawn. Getting outside at sunrise syncs the body’s circadian rhythm and sets up the proper hormone cascade throughout the day to keep you functioning optimally. Make sure to get outside for sun breaks every so often during work to keep your rhythm synced to the sun and not the computer.
You’ve now got three options for reducing your dependency on the blue light drug.
Pick one of them and see how much better your sleep becomes.