Getting a good night’s sleep is critical for optimal health. The Side Effects and Complications Associated with sleep disorders are irritability, fatigue, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, chronic disease, diabetes, depression, behavioral issues, stroke, and brain function impairment. If not rectified, over time, sleep deprivation can lead to heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and other serious complications.
The pathways of brainwave activity and wavelengths lie in various regions of the brain, and they can be affected by stimuli and blue light.
• Delta- Deep sleep and regeneration
• Beta-Faster, lighter sleep, dreaming and emotions
• Alpha-Faster activity, awake, but in a relaxed state
• Theta-Very fast activity, recall, stress, and anxiety
Blue light emits wavelengths that contribute to sleep disturbances. Blue light comes from artificial lighting and electronics like fluorescent and LED lightbulbs, laptops, mobile phones, iPad, television, some alarm clocks, fiber-optic cable boxes, and other devices that use blue light. The issue is that blue light makes your brain think that it’s still daytime, which makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
Blue light disrupts the circadian rhythm and natural sleep cycles specifically the delta and beta wavelengths, leading to increased activity in the brain and less relaxation. The circadian rhythm is responsible for waking and sleeping in a 24-hour time period, as well as biological functioning and regeneration of certain organs. When it begins to get dark, the hormone melatonin is produced to help us sleep soundly, but with blue light, that production is limited with varying degrees.
Because blue light stimulation begins with the eye, which in turn signals the brain to stay awake, it’s important to remove blue light from your sleeping area, stop using devices or watching television before bed, and to use blue light blocking aids such as blue light blocking glasses.
Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
• Block all blue light and stimuli 90 minutes before bed
• Get plenty of sunlight or blue light in the day time to balance your circadian rhythm
• Sleep in cool temperatures (67 degrees is preferable)
• Keep Blue Light out of your room to make sure it’s dark (block outside lights too)
• Make sure you have comfortable bedding
• Keep your sleeping area quiet
• Exercise early in the day (not before bed)
• Read or meditate before you go to sleep
There can be multiple reasons that an individual’s sleep is disrupted. Finding the root cause is critical to overall health.