There are thousands of peer reviewed clinical trials, randomised controlled trials and meta-analysis on the dangers of blue light. I wanted to break down the 5 most important studies when it comes to blue light and how it can be bad for our sleep, bad for our health and bad for our wellbeing.
1. Blue Light and Green Light Disrupts Your Sleep
Blue light that is emitted from your digital devices, TV, house lights, appliances and street lights disrupts your sleep. Harvard health have shown that disrupted sleep increases your chances of getting illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and obesity. Sleep is so important and it appears that blue light and green light stops your body producing melatonin which is required for good quality sleep. If you struggle to get to sleep, wake up feeling tired or wake up lots during the night you most likely have exposed yourself to too much blue light.
The study looked at testing which frequencies of light disrupted melatonin production. The authors found a very distinct band of light that suppresses melatonin, that is 400nm to 550 nm. This is 100% of blue light. Green light runs from 500-570nm and the studied showed that blocking 100% of green light up to 550nm is always required for optimal melatonin secretion.
To get optimal sleep blue light blocking glasses should be worn post sunset until bed time. The best blue light blocking glasses should therefore focus on blocking 100% of light between 400-550nm. This is the exact study that BLUblox designed their Sleep+ blue light blocking glasses around. Sleep+ blue light blocking glasses block 100% of blue light (400-500nm) and 100% of green light (between 500-550nm). Sleep+ are the best blue light blocking glasses for sleep whether you are in United States of America, Australia or anywhere else in the world.
2. Blue Light Increases Risk of Breast and Prostate Cancer
This study was a very comprehensive study involving around 4,000 participants. Blue light exposure can lead to higher estrogen levels which means a higher risk of certain cancers. Blue light causes cellular damage, more cell damage means high chance of cellular mutations and a cell mutation can result is cancer. The Spain study showed that participants that were exposed to both indoor and outdoor artificial blue light had higher risk of breast cancer or prostate cancer. Artificial blue light outside the home is just as bad for you as blue light from inside the home. Sources of blue light outside the home are car headlights, street lamps, neighbours’ lights, security lights, lights in bars and restaurants or shopping malls. When it comes to reducing your exposure to artificial blue light after sunset its best to choose a pair of blue light blocking glasses that not just block the correct frequencies of blue and green light but also look super stylish. BLUblox Sleep+ blue light blocking glasses have been featured in Vogue, GQ and Elle which show how stylish they are. The days of wearing ugly safety goggles have long gone and it's now time to embrace light management as fashion accessory or a chore.
The study also showed that men who slept in a bedroom which was not in total darkness had a higher risk factor in getting prostate cancer. Its super important that we sleep in total darkness. This can be achieved through installing 100% black out curtains or using a 100% light blocking sleep mask such as REMedy.
Blue light that hits our skin can also cause hormone disruption. Blue light causes cell damage and red light causes cell repair. Biohacking your home is super important to restore any damage blue light may be causing. Hacks involve installing red light bulbs such as Lumi Sleep+ in your lamps or using a red light therapy device such as Hive.
3. Blue Light Causes Weight Gain and insulin Resistance
This study in 2017 is super important as its shows that exposure to nocturnal blue light leads to insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and metabolic disfunction. This will be of particular concern for people who work night shifts, stay up late or are not wearing blue light blocking glasses after sunset.
The scary thing is this study showed that the intolerances occurred at a statistically significant level after just one night of blue light exposure. If you are following a particular diet and not achieving the results you should be it will most likely not be down to the food you are eating, it will be down to the light you are eating the food under.
The good news is this is an easy fix. Other studies have shown that eating outside or in the mornings means the food you eat will be less likely stored as body fat. Hormones and enzymes that are needed for digestion and nutrient partitioning are at their optimum levels in the morning and at their weakest after dark. Also wearing the best blue light blocking glasses after sunset will mean you can keep your blood sugar levels and insulin under control.
Blue light whilst you sleep will also cause glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. These two issues can lead to increased risk of diabetes over time. By sleeping in a 100% blacked out bedroom is super important. By installing black out curtains or using a 100% light blocking sleep mask such as REMedy are the optimal options.
4. Blue Light May Disrupt Hormones Through The Skin
If you own a pair of blue light blocking glasses that work in line with the academic literature like Sleep+ blue light glasses you will be 80% there in terms of artificial light management.
Until the end of 2017 you would have been safe in saying blue light blocking glasses were all you needed to have blue light kept under control after sunset. That was until this study was released showing that blue light can disrupt our body clocks through our skin and fat cells.
The study showed skin reacts to blue light around 480nm which is exactly the frequencies of light that shows that something called melanopsin is present. Melanopsin is a blue light receptor thought only to be present in the eyes. This study changed the way we think about blue light as it can now impact us through our skin. Albeit not to the same degree as through the eyes but all the same it’s going to be an issue for us hormonally.
Other recent studies have taken things even further and proved there is an issue with not allowing our skin to ever be in total darkness. One such study showed that by exposing ourselves to blue light after sunset means the skin could not go into its repair mode (usually in darkness) which could be contributing to the increase in melanoma (skin cancer) we are seeing worldwide.
Wearing clothes that cover a lot of your skin’s surface area is key after sunset. But also limiting exposure to blue light. This can be done by having salt lamps around your house, replacing regular light bulbs with Lumi Sleep+ globes and also using red light therapy devices such as Hive.
5. Blue light can negatively affect our mood and behaviour
Exposure to blue light after sunset can increase are vulnerability to issues such as low mood, stress, anxiety, depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. This study in 2017 showed that exposure to blue light after sunset can negatively impact our mood. Lack of sleep caused by excessive exposure to blue light after sunset can also intensify these issues.
By adopting good light hygiene practices such as wearing blue light blocking glasses after sunset, installing red light bulbs in your home, wearing long clothing, using red light therapy and wearing a 100% light blocking sleep mask whilst you sleep are key.
To learn more about blue light and to view the world’s best blue light blocking glasses and light management products visit BLUblox.com