Warning About Blue Light and Sleep

Asya-Fatima
Asya Fatima Abdulwajid

Feb 24 2021

You may have heard of blue light, and about how it can potentially disrupt your sleep. But how much truth is there to this claim? What exactly is blue light, and how does it impact your sleep? More importantly, what measures can you take to protect yourself from it? These are some key questions that we’ll answer shortly, including how to sleep better at night!

What Does Light Have to Do With Sleep?

The light that we are naturally exposed to from the sun, white light, is a combination of six different colours; one of which is blue. Sunlight is important for humans for a variety of reasons – our bodies absorb sunlight to create Vitamin D, produce melanin, and regulate hormones. Moreover, without getting into the science of it, exposure to sunlight tells our bodies that it’s time to be ‘awake’.

The Dangers of Blue Light

While our natural exposure to blue light is via the sun, we are also regularly exposed to it artificially, such as through smartphones, Flatscreen LED TVs, LED and fluorescent lighting, and computer screens to name a few. During the day, exposure to blue light isn’t a big deal from a sleeper’s perspective – in fact, more exposure to sunlight during the day can help you sleep better at night. Blue light exposure becomes problematic near bedtime, for one key reason – it discourages melatonin production.

Melatonin – The Sandman?

Melatonin is the hormone primarily responsible for the regulation of our sleep processes and is secreted by the pineal gland. Melatonin production in the body is naturally triggered by light fall – this way, our bodies are naturally inclined to turn in as the night approaches. However, continual exposure to artificial blue light during dark hours disrupts melatonin production and ultimately our sleep cycles.

blue light and sleep

How to Sleep Better

Thus, a big part of ensuring that your sleep cycle is undisturbed and fulfilling involves avoiding artificial blue light, or at least limiting exposure to it, during late hours. Of course, in the modern era, avoiding artificial blue light altogether is near impossible – smartphones and laptops play a massive role in most of our lives. Fortunately, there are some precautions that you can follow to limit exposure to blue light and to improve your sleep cycle in general. This includes…

1. Night modes.

Many modern devices now come with a ‘night mode’ option that limits the emission of blue light. Moreover, you can purchase blue light filters and plop them onto your laptop or smartphone screens to reduce exposure.

2. Blue light glasses.

Similar to a blue light filter, blue light glasses can help boost melatonin production by reducing exposure to blue light. Thus, blue light glasses are another promising way to potentially combat sleep deprivation.

3. Get ready for bed.

During childhood years, many of us were accustomed to some sort of ‘bedtime’ routine that involved winding down and preparing to sleep. This may involve changing into pajamas and turning off the screens, reading a book, and being tucked into bed. In our adult years, such a routine is just as important, if not more! For 2-3 hours before it’s time for you to sleep, try trading the screens for a physical book and allow your eyes and mind to relax a bit. Change into something comfortable, dim the lights, and tell your body it’s almost time to sleep.

4. Reduce screentime.

Easier said than done, but trading out late-night scrolling for a physical book or board game may help get your melatonin levels in check. Checking your devices constantly before bed keeps you alert. This is precisely what you need to avoid to ensure a restful sleep.

5. Regulate your body clock.

Frequent exposure to sunlight during the day actually helps keep your sleep cycle healthy! Greater exposure to light can help your body wind down from its sudden absence during the evening.

6. Up your melatonin levels.

If your sleep is being disrupted due to low melatonin production, then avoiding blue light isn’t the only way to up your hormone production. Some foods contain melatonin naturally, including sour cherry and pomegranate juices. Moreover, foods containing the aminoacid tryptophan encourage melatonin production – this includes seafood, turkey, dairy productions, eggs, pulses, and chicken. If you’re suffering from serious sleeping deprivation, then artificial melatonin supplements are a more head-on option. However, before taking supplements, it’s a good idea to consult your GP about your and discuss possible treatments.

The quality of sleep you receive directly translates into the quality of life you enjoy. So, to ensure a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep!

Beyond the precautions we’ve discussed above, though, is one key factor that determines the quality of your sleep – the mattress you sleep on. The right mattress will keep your spine properly aligned and comfortable throughout sleep. Many premium mattresses come with enhanced cooling technologies. This is important for achieving the optimal temperature for sleep.

So if you’re looking for a mattress to help enhance your sleep experience, let’s look at some of the best brands and what they’re offering,

How to Sleep Better – Finding The Right Sleep Solution

Simba Sleep

Simba Sleep is a major player in the mattress industry, famous for its special hybrid bed that comes with a unique, patented titanium Aerocoil® layer for optimal comfort.

Simba’s hybrid mattress offers superior comfort and support, thanks to its zoned support base, premium quality foam, and special comfort layer. What’s more, Simba Sleep’s hybrid bed comes with a special open-cell foam layer designed to encourage circulation and keep you cool overnight. The brand’s premium Hybrid Pro model comes with not just one, but two patented titanium Aerocoil spring layers. These offer pressure point relief and relieve sleepers from discomfort.

simba sleep mattress
source: simbasleep.com
Sleepers will be happy to learn that Simba Sleep reports taking dedicated steps to make their beds more friendly to the environment. Realising that conventional foam just wouldn’t cut it, Simba Sleep designed a custom foam free from chemicals harmful to the environment such as persistent inorganic pollutants, biocides, and TCCP. Simba’s own foam, Simba-Pure, is not only environmentally friendlier but also exceeds fire safety regulations.

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Nectar UK

Nectar is another market leader, famous for its Forever Warranty – that is, Nectar mattresses come with a lifetime warranty, making them the perfect long-term investment.

Nectar has a lot going for it that sets the premium brand apart from its competitors. For one thing, Nectar has a one-for-all bed designed to accommodate all types of sleepers. Moreover, relative to other top brands, Nectar keeps its prices appreciably low to allow everyone to enjoy their superior products.

The Nectar mattress consists of five layers that work in sync to optimize support, comfort, and make for a cool sleep. The adaptive cooling layer wicks your body heat away and absorbs and evaporates any excess moisture. Nectar also has its own special foam that is designed to be 30 times more breathable than conventional memory foam. It complements the other cooling properties of the bed. Nectar mattresses come with a 7 zoned support layer. The zones provide different levels of support to different areas of the body as needed. To top things off, the pressure-relieving layer encourages comfortable, relaxed sleep.

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DreamCloud UK

As the daughter brand of Nectar Sleep, it should come as no surprise that DreamCloud is another market leader that offers premium sleep solutions. In line with Nectar, DreamCloud also offers a one-for-all mattress in the form of a luxury hybrid model that boasts greater breathability, support, and comfort.

Cheesy as it may sound, sleeping on a DreamCloud mattress can be best described as if you were sleeping on a cloud; a soft, cool, relaxing experience. DreamCloud beds come with specially engineered ActiveEdge coils. This technology is designed to provide optimal support to the sleeper. The pocket springs in ActiveEdge layer offer point-pressure relief and minimise motion transfer, keeping sleepers comfortable and undisturbed during sleep.

The DreamCloud also comes with a unique ‘Dream Plush’ memory foam layer, designed to be more breathable than traditional foam and to offer more comfort and support. The Dream Plush foam contours effortlessly to your body’s shape, keeping you relaxed and in place whilst you sleep.

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Conclusion

When it comes to determining how to sleep better, you need to tackle the situation from all angles. This includes limiting exposure to blue light, getting enough sun, maintaining a healthy sleep cycle, and of course, investing in the right sleep solution. If you watch out for all these, then you’re sure to have a great sleep and improved quality of life!

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