The previous Great NEWS post focused on Alkaline Healthy Beverages or Acidic Unhealthy Beverages and today we consider Is Blue Light Bad and Beneficial. How well do we understand the consequences of excess or insufficient blue light? When people wear sun glasses during the day and watch blue light screens at night it is obvious they are not very informed on blue light. Most people are in the dark regarding the importance of understanding how blue light as part of full spectrum light impacts our happiness and health. Today we take a closer look at how Blue Light Bad and Beneficial.
The Great NEWS Coach blog series on Health Hazards is designed to alert us to health hazards that can harm our happiness and health. Blue light and full spectrum light has recently become an important topic because it is beneficial at the right time and yet can be a damaging health hazard at other times. Not understanding our relationship to natural blue light and full spectrum light from the sun can harm our happiness, harmony and health.
Today we will learn some basic science regarding visible full spectrum light and the benefits and risks regarding blue light exposure. Living in harmony with blue light and full spectrum light will benefit your bank account, body and brain. The goal is to help you stop disrupting your body’s circadian rhythm and start living in harmony with blue light, no light and full spectrum light from the sun. While occasional blue light at night may not harm us, consistent and excessive exposure may significantly reduce our quality of life and even shorten our life. When we learn to live in harmony with the cycles of the sun during the day and the moon at night we will find ourselves synchronized to the 24 hour circadian rhythms of life.
Electro magnetic radiation is very complex and has a wide range of wave lengths of energy. There are invisible and visible ranges of this elector magnetic radiation energy. The invisible spectrum consists of gamma rays, x rays, ultra violet … infrared, far infrared, micro wave and radio waves. Visible light is a tiny band that fits in between ultra violet and infrared. We will only focus on the very narrow range of visible light that can make up the colors of the rainbow blended into white light. Blue light is only one color of a wide range of colors in the visible full spectrum light.
Blue light comes from natural sources such as stars like our sun and from artificial sources such as light bulbs and screens that create artificial light. There are many different types of light bulbs that create different amounts and types of light such as: Compact fluorescent lights (CFL), Fluorescent lights, white lights, yellow lights, full spectrum lights and LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights. Full spectrum lights indoors during the day help replicate the sun light we are missing and are better for the health and productivity of those inside.
The bottom line is that the sun and all artificial lights emit varying degrees of blue light. We are totally connected, linked and wired to the natural cycles of light and dark. When it is day time and sun light is present we are synchronized to be active, eat, play, think and work. When it is night time and dark our circadian rhythm wants us to be calm, digest, dream, regenerate, rest and sleep. Any thing we do differently than this natural cycle disrupts our natural circadian rhythm.
Blue Light is Bad
Blue Light is bad when you are exposed to it after the sun has set and before the sun has risen when it should be dark. Since the invention of artificial lights our life has been significantly adjusted and altered to be active earlier and later than normal sunlight availability. This results in us being awake, doing things, looking at cell phones, computer screens, pads and tablets, playing, reading, staying up, watching TV and working. As a result we are extending our awake, busy and work time and reducing our quiet, restorative and sleep time with significant health consequences.
This excessive light pollution is emitting blue light which tells our brain it is still day time and we should be active and busy doing things. This excess blue light also suppresses our melatonin production which is our regeneration, repair and sleep hormone. As a result we are overly active and thus interfering with our normal circadian rhythm which would direct us to wind down when it is dark and get ready for a restful night sleep. With all of this artificial light interfering with our normal cycles it is well known that hundreds of millions of people are having sleep issues and sleep deprivation. Because of the artificial light there is constant light pollution and with people doing more there is more noise pollution around the world which creates a vicious cycle affecting millions of people. The problem was bad enough with artificial lights and TV keeping us up late and not it is significantly worse.
Today most people have a steady stream of appliances, cell phones, clocks, computers, laptops, monitors, nightlights, pads, street lights, tablets and TV big screens sending excessive blue light directly into our eyes and over stimulating our brain and nervous system. The worst offenders are the laptops, pads, smart phones and tables sending bright blue light into our eyes at a close range that totally engages our mind while it shuts down our regeneration, relaxation and sleep mechanism. This short circuits our restful and restorative melatonin production. This is a recipe for disaster and disease as people become more disoriented, fatigued, out of balance, sleep deprived and totally exhausted.
Most people today feel totally out of balance with their natural biorhythm and circadian rhythm. When melatonin and serotonin hormones are disrupted the entire hormone system starts to malfunction and lose balance resulting in a chain reaction and inevitable break down. When the body is not getting a good night sleep and regenerating we start to age and break down faster. Regenerating and restful sleep is a key part of our health, maintenance and well being. Without adequate amounts we are doomed to wear down and wear out faster.
Those countries that follow day light savings time make it even worse for people. The more we disrupt our normal patterns and sleep routines the more our of sync our biorhythms will be. This is evident around the world as we see sleep deprived people looking for caffeine, coffee, colas, energy drinks, sugary stuff and stimulants to perk them up and pick them up from a lack of quality sleep. Late night technology junkies and night owls are on a collision course with health and hormone problems.
Access to light 24 hours a day and glaring into blue light screens at night is creating another yet 180 degree opposite problem. Did you guess that the lack of quality blue light during the day is another significant problem faced by many people in developed countries?
Blue Light is Beneficial
Blue light is beneficial and essential during the day to activate the hypothalamus in the brain to reset our biorhythm clock and circadian rhythm. It is important for us to see full spectrum light during the day which is made up of a rainbow of colors and to have sun light on our skin. Most people today are not getting enough sun light on enough skin to manufacture the amount of Vitamin D necessary for our health and immune function. Without adequate Vitamin D we are more susceptible to disease, health issues and infections. Our eyes also need to receive enough full spectrum light including blue light to recharge our body and reset our clock for peak performance during the day and set the stage for a great night sleep during darkness.
When we are sleeping during the day, staying indoors, wearing excessive clothes, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen we block out the beneficial suns rays and blue light that is essential for happiness and health. No wonder developed countries are seeing more depression, disease, dysfunction, infections, learning issues, obesity, sleep disorders and wellness problems escalate. Our children are experiencing more chronic pressure and stress than in the past as they function, learn and perform. They are also being disoriented and distracted by the abundance of bright lights and modern technology seducing them away from sleep and towards unhealthy addictive behaviors and habits.
Optimizing Our Blue Light Exposure
We must learn to take full advantage of beneficial sun light each day when it is available to us. That means gradual exposure during the morning as the sun rises and in the evening as the sun sets. We must also learn creative new ways to enjoy more of the benefits of the sun during the midday period when the sun is near its peak. This is a great time to eat lunch outdoors, seek sun shine and take a walk. The goal is to enjoy the full spectrum light of sun shine through our eyes and expose as much skin as is practical.
Our eyes are normally equipped to take in the full spectrum of sun light and dilate as needed to adjust to the brightness. Full spectrum light exposure helps with our biorhythms, health, mood and well being. While sunglasses may be beneficial during bright sun glare such as when reflecting off of sand, snow or water or shining directly in your eyes they are not needed the majority of the time you are in sunshine. It is best to avoid wearing sun glasses for long periods of time as this will block out many of the healthy wave lengths of full spectrum light. People in countries with long periods of low sun light can benefit from exposure to full spectrum lights for a longer period of time during the day.
Low quality sun glasses are especially harmful because they create problems by causing our pupils to dilate which allows in more of the harmful UV wave lengths people are trying to avoid. Poor lens quality also contributes to eye strain and vision distortion. Many children are wearing low quality sun glasses that can contribute to eye damage.
If sun light is too bright one can wear a hat or sun visor to partially shield the eyes rather than depend on sunglasses to block out light. We benefit from sun shine and full spectrum light through our eyes and on our skin to recharge our body, manufacture Vitamin D and reset our circadian rhythm. Most people in developed countries cover up most of their skin and wear sunglasses and sunscreen most of the time they are outdoors. This combination is creating people that are Vitamin D deficient, have super sensitive eyes, circadian rhythm and sleep issues and many health problems and skin conditions.
As you can see there are many aspects to understanding blue light and full spectrum light which impact our happiness, health and harmony. The goal is to help people understand the benefits of sun light so they stop avoiding sun light and start enjoying more sun shine for better health. Stop the excessive wearing of sun blocking clothes, sun glasses and sunscreens. Start enjoying safe levels of full spectrum light from the sun through you eyes and on your skin.
This Great NEWS post looked deeper into Is Blue Light Bad and Beneficial to help people understand the art and science of blue light and full spectrum light. When we stop blocking out full spectrum light during the day and start blocking out most blue light during the night our quality of life will transform. Now that we answered the question Is Blue Light Bad and Beneficial we can make better choices and decisions regarding how much and when to receive blue light and full spectrum light.
What is your current Gap?
Are you receiving too little or too much blue light and full spectrum light which is harming your health?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
What mastery action plans will help you stop restricting healthy blue light and full spectrum light during the day and start restricting your excess exposure to it at night? To really understand the power of sunlight read the article by Dr Mercola: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/16/sunglasses-myths.aspx
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding how is blue light bad and beneficial? What healthy habits will you implement to enjoy less blue light at night and even more full spectrum light during the day for better health?
Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:
Sitting Still Makes US Old and Sick
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