The Importance of Filtering Blue Light
What is blue light?
And why would you consider filtering some of it out?
Let’s start by very briefly going over light in general.
Light has different wavelengths, and those wavelengths are different colors, different strengths, and have different effects on us.
Think about the sun—our biggest source of blue light. The sun actually burns so bright that it emits every color light, but we mostly see blue sky when there are no clouds. All the rest of the colors—reds, oranges, yellows, greens, get lost on the long trip to earth because they are weaker. The strongest radiation, shortwave radiation, is the one that is powerful enough to make it all the way to earth, bouncing around in space, straight into our atmosphere.
And that, my friends, is why the sky is blue!
But, the sun is not the only source of blue light.
In fact, we’ve invited other short-wave radiation into our homes in the form of electronics that have screens.
There are both good and bad effects of this light wavelength.
Of course, without the sun, the whole world would collapse! We need it to grow plants, for our bodies to produce vitamin D, and to tell our brains to wake up in the morning.
Other things that give off blue light:
- The sun
- LED lights
- Fluorescent lights
- Incandescent lights
It’s the fact that blue light is so good at waking us up—nature’s natural sleep killer—that we need to protect ourselves from it to maintain our sleep/wake rhythms.
There are a few ways blue light affects us.
Too much blue light (or blue light at the wrong time) can cause:
- Sleep disruption at night
- Eye strain
- Long-term eye degeneration—retinal damage and age-related macular degeneration
- Mental fatigue
- Increases risk for:
- heart disease
The benefits of blue light:
- Helps you wake up by controlling sleep/wake rhythm
- Decreases depression, when used in small doses (sunlight rays)
- Helps keep memory
How to filter blue light
There’s always the most obvious choice to help with better sleep—stop all electronic use at least two hours before bedtime. If you are very sensitive to blue light, start wearing your yellow lens glasses 3 hours before bedtime.
Because blue light also comes from light bulbs, turn off any excess lighting you don’t need in your home. For an extra-relaxing mood, light these non-toxic candles. They are all-natural and handmade, and use only essential oils for the fragrance.
If you have to work or use electronics at night, I recommend these products:
- Use light filtering glasses for work. You can find ones that look like regular glasses, not yellow tinted lenses, which can be worn during the day. However, the best ones have large yellow/orange lenses. These are also very inexpensive—you can find them on Amazon.
- Buy a physical screen filter
- Use the nighttime setting if you have an iphone
- The Iris app also allows you to adjust light settings on laptop or computer. It’s what I use and I love it.
This version is totally free and simple to use. There’s no customization, which is what makes it so user friendly.
If you want more options and more protection, you can buy Iris. It is still inexpensive but gives you some more options. This is the one I chose. At the moment, it is also 50% off! https://iristech.co/buy/
If you still have trouble sleeping, try these two products I find very effective:
- Dr. Mercola’s melatonin spray This is really helpful when traveling and changing time zones, too.
Also, you can download my free pdf on How to Sleep Better Tonight here:
So, be sure to protect your eyes and your body’s time clock by filtering blue light when possible.