Here's Why You Should Block Blue Light At Night
Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to being healthy. We know that you should get between 7-9 hours a night of sleep. We also know that the majority of people fail to sleep this much. And to top it off, most people are not getting good quality sleep either. Put simply, we are a sleep deprived world. Technology has played a massive role in this sleep debt. Our phones, laptops, televisions, and bedroom lights expose us to blue light 24/7. Blue light, just like the sun, wakes us up and plays a role in our circadian rhythm. As the day turns into night, blue light fades away and the sleep process begins. But this hardly occurs due to the technology mentioned above. And this should worry you because excessive evening light exposure can disrupt the circadian rhythm and put you at a greater risk for weight gain, decreased energy, and a weakened immune system. I believe this is due to a melatonin deficiency.
Melatonin is a circadian rhythm hormone that signals sleep and recovery in the body. Melatonin is created in the pineal gland when lower levels of light are detected. However, light pollution and chronic light exposure have greatly reduced this mechanism. The production of melatonin occurs throughout the night, but the majority of it takes place between 9 and 11 pm.
Melatonin is more than just a sleep hormone, it plays a huge role in the recovery process. It is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the human body. In fact, it is 200% more powerful than Vitamin E (1). This antioxidant effect leads to reduced inflammation by ridding the body of free radicals. A moderate amount of free radicals is needed, but an excessive amount can lead to an inflammatory response which can wreak havoc on your energy levels.
In addition to the antioxidant effect, melatonin stimulates repairing enzymes which may increase energy, and longevity (2). Also, studies have shown that higher levels of melatonin promote higher levels of brown adipose tissue in the body (3). It is called brown fat due to higher mitochondrial density. Mitochondria are the cells responsible for energy production. So by improving your mitochondria, you improve your metabolism. In addition to an improved metabolism, melatonin has been shown to boost an immune system, fight off certain cancers, and even help prevent type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer's(4).
Unfortunately, the majority of us are missing out on these benefits due to our current environment and social life. I believe the excessive intake of blue night at night is driving weight gain, decreased energy, and poor health. To fight against this and improve your health, you must limit blue light to the daytime and reduce night time light exposure, especially between the hours of 8 pm to 11 pm. Remember, melatonin is a powerful hormone, it improves metabolism, reduces inflammation, and strengthens the immune system. But the only way to reap these benefits is by reducing evening blue light and getting adequate sleep.
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