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How the Blue Light on Your Laptop and Phone Is Affecting You

If you spend a lot of time looking at your phone or your laptop screen, you could find that when bedtime comes around you are struggling to sleep. This is because of the blue light, which is most commonly known to affect sleep, but that’s not the only health effect it has.

There are many different colors of light, the warmer tones like red light have longer wavelengths and less energy, while blue light has shorter wavelengths and more energy, All About Vision reports. When indoors, the most common source of blue light comes from digital devices, like televisions, laptops, and smartphones, and because we spend a lot of time on these devices, scientists and researchers are concerned about the effects it has on the human eye.

The publication notes that the eye is not very good at blocking blue light and almost all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina. Too much exposure to blue light can damage the cells in the retina, as well as cause digital eye strain.

According to Harvard Health, blue light is disruptive at night, as it suppresses the secretion of melatonin. Some studies have shown a link between being exposed to this light at night, and types of cancer caused by lower levels of melatonin in the body. But there is also a suggested link to other health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Research conducted by Harvard suggests that diabetes and obesity could be a side effect of changed circadian rhythms (your body clock), and after adjusting the circadian rhythms of their study participants they found the participants' blood sugar levels increased and leptin levels decreased (a hormone that makes people feel full after consuming food).

How can you limit your exposure to visible blue light?

The most obvious way would be to reduce the usage of technological devices, although Harvard Health notes that you could filter the blue/green light with an app or wear blue-blocking glasses. Individuals can also use dim red lights as night lights.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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