This feature on your iPhone is silently hurting you (and you’re not aware)

We need blue light in our lives. It is part of the light spectrum, and is natural; it comes from sunlight. But, too much of it can cause serious health issues.

During the day, blue light helps your attention span, reaction times and may even put you in a better mood. It’s the reason you wake up feeling refreshed and (potentially) in a good mood.

It’s the nighttime blue light exposure that could put you at risk of serious health issues.

As we use TV, phones, and tablets to keep our minds occupied, work well into the night, or even read a book, we could be doing more damage than good to our bodies as blue light affects our body’s circadian rhythm and melatonin production.

Decreased melatonin

The biggest problem is the disruption of melatonin production, a natural hormone our bodies create to help us wind down at night. You need melatonin to get tired. Without it, you may have insomnia, the inability to process stress, and/or the inability to sleep for long periods.

Why does this happen?

Your eyes can’t block blue light. It goes straight to the back of your eyes and interferes with your body’s ability to create melatonin.

Researchers compared exposure to blue light and green light over 6.5 hours in a Harvard study. In the study, the blue light blocked melatonin production for twice as long as green light and altered the circadian rhythm twice as much.

Altered Circadian Rhythm

Your body’s circadian rhythm is a 24-hour clock that tells your body when to be awake (alert) and when to sleep. Light is the determining factor in how our circadian rhythm operates. Before digital devices, our bodies relied on the sunrise and sunset to know when to wake up and go to sleep. Still, the introduction of excessive blue light has reduced the body’s ability to know when to wind down since the blue light constantly makes it feel ‘alert.’

Decreasing your blue light exposure

We’re all exposed to blue light even without our phones. It’s in natural light, but we aren’t staring at the sun or even in sunlight for extended periods so our bodies can relax and unwind at night. 

It’s the extended exposure we all experience using phones, TV screens, computer screens, and tablets. To decrease your blue light exposure and potentially save your health, as lack of sleep can cause many issues, including cardiovascular problems, obesity, and depression, just to name a few.

To decrease your blue light exposure, try the following:

  • Add blue light filters to your screens; this stops the blue light from coming into contact with your eyes and decreasing the issues it can cause
  • Wear blue light glasses to prevent exposure to excessive blue light
  • Blink as often as possible while using digital screens
  • Look away from your screen every 20 minutes, focusing on something at least 20 feet away
  • Keep your distance when using digital screens, putting 16 to 30 inches between you

If you aren’t sure about your blue light exposure, pay close attention to your sleep and wake schedule. Do you get much less sleep than you should have?

Do you feel constantly stressed, tired, and just ‘unwell’? It could be time to do something about your blue light exposure and claim your health back.