What is blue light?

Light is made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in waves.  These waves emit energy that range in length and strength. The shorter the wavelength; the higher the energy.  Blue light is a part of this light spectrum that our body relies on to help us wake in the morning. We generally need a small amount blue light to activate our brain to kick start and keep us going throughout our day.

Many years ago, before the advent of electricity and electronic devices our ancestors would go to sleep when it got dark and awoke when it was daylight. It was a much simpler time and probably with less sleep disturbance.

Today our lifestyles are extremely busy and we have come to rely heavily on our smart phones, tablets, computers and televisions to get us through our days and now our nights. Our technology dependent lives aren’t specific to just adults.  Our children, at times even to the point of addiction, rely heavily on their electronic devices to do homework, game with friends and communicate with family and friends. As a result, we are seeing a significant spike in sleep disorders, headaches, eye strain and other related health problems.

Specific to sleep health, the blue light emitted from our electronic devises happens on a spectrum measured in nanometers that may be contributing to our poor-quality sleep. Blue light is more powerful than other light in the visible light spectrum and the blue light emitted from our devices occurs in a range of 459-484 nanometers. This range of blue light is critical in influencing melatonin, the hormone responsible for entraining our circadian rhythms also known as our sleep/wake cycle.  Blue light from electronic devices is highly disruptive to our sleep/wake cycle and leads to a suppression of melatonin contributing heavily to the alarming rise in sleep disorders in our children and adults!

How do we turn off the negative effects blue light?  Among the options to combat blue light interference from electronic devices is with lenses that filter this part of the blue light spectrum. The lenses used in bluwinx glasses are designed to do just that. They filter the blue light in the range of 459-484 thereby making them possibly the most effective solution in improving the daytime overstimulation and the negative nighttime effects of blue light on our quality of sleep compared to other competitive options on the market today.

How you’re exposed to blue light

Sunlight
The sun is the primary source of blue light you’re exposed to on a daily basis — that’s natural and even beneficial.
Artificial Light
“Exposure to blue light  emitted by electronics and energy efficient lightbulbs, harmful to your health”.  Harvard researchers experimented with the effects of 6.5 hours of Blue light exposure to Green light at a comparable brightness and found that the impact of blue light vs green light exposure was that blue light suppresses Melatonin.

What is the impact?

Sleep Problems, Glare, Eyestrain, Anxiety, Headaches, Depression, Suicide

Children and Youth are especially at risk.
• No natural protection
• Tend to hold devices closer
• Larger pupils let in more blue light
• Average 9+ hours per day on a device
It’s crucial to know what you’re buying when considering blue light protection:

There are countless articles and research being conducted on the negative affect of using digital devices on children’s sleep habits. As we mentioned earlier, the current recommended hours of sleep by The National Sleep Foundation is; Preschoolers 3-5 years old require 10 to 13 hours of sleep, Children ages 6-13 years old require 9 to 11 hours of sleep, Teenagers 14-17 years old require 8-10 hours. That said, the excessive use of digital devises can have a negative impact on the amount and quality of sleep children get a night.

Among the reasons for the disrupted sleep are really two-fold. First, instead of regular bedtimes kids are staying up later watching TV, using tablets and looking at their cell phones. Thus, instead of shutting or slowing down their brain activity they are continuing to stimulate it thereby delaying their sleep onset.

Secondly, the blue light emitted by these digital devices impacts melatonin the hormone responsible for helping us sleep at night and helping us wake up at daylight. By looking at this specific blue light wavelength we trick our brains in thinking it’s day time and delaying and limiting our sleep.

The result of delayed sleep onset and tricking our brains ability to increase melatonin at night is mainly felt during the day. Some of the side effects of poor sleep related to viewing digital devises are many and some can be very problematic. Like adults, children that do not get the recommended hours of sleep each night may experience daytime sleepiness. As we discussed earlier, losing the recommended hours of sleep and feeling sleepy will have other negative side effects. Some of these side effects include; irritability and mood swings, poor cognitive abilty making learning more difficult thereby possibly affecting school performance and decision making.