WHAT IS BLUE LIGHT?
The Electromagnetic Spectrum
The light we can see stretches from red (the lowest frequency and longest wavelength of light our eyes can see) to orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet light (the highest frequency and shortest wavelength our eyes can see). Light is measured in nanometers (nm) and travels at the speed of 300,000 km per second. The visible light for us is the range of the spectrum from 380 to 780nm.
Blue light is part of the visible light in the electromagnetic spectrum and has a wavelength of approximately 380-500 nanometers. The different colours in the visible light spectrum have different energies. In the range of 500-700 nanometers we find the green, orange, yellow and the red lights, which are lower energy waves and, as such, easier on our eyes. This specially applies at night. The higher energy side of the spectrum (called HEV - High Energy Visible light) is made up of blue light, which is the strongest around 400-470 nanometers. Blue light has the shortest wavelength, but the highest energy in the visible light spectrum, which is hazardous for us in a number of ways.
Blue Light Sources
The main source of blue light is the sun (natural blue light), but there are also many other artificial sources of blue light, such as computer screens, screens of smartphones and tablets, street lights, billboards, modern room lighting, and many more. In other words, blue light is all around us on a daily basis. While most people are aware of the harmful effects of UV rays (such as sunburn or snow blindness) and protect themselves accordingly, the knowledge about blue light and its dangers (and benefits) is generally far smaller.
How Does Blue Light Impact Us?
Like most animals, humans have built-in clocks in their brains, which regulate our biological processes and daily behaviours, such as sleep and awake times. This body clock is known as our circadian rhythm. One of the most important factors that steer our circadian rhythm is light exposure to our eyes.
Our body clock influences how much melatonin we produce. Melatonin is the hormone that helps us sleep and is made by the pineal gland in the brain. Our melatonin production is increased when the exposure to natural blue light reduces with the sunset in the evening and decreased when it gets bright again at sunrise in morning.
During daytime natural blue light from the sun is beneficial for us, as it supports our attention, our mood and our alertness. The picture changes when the natural blue light disappears with the sunset in the evening. Naturally, the disappearing sunlight would stimulate our brain to produce melatonin. However, in our modern society nightly exposure to artificial blue light fools our body clock to believe it’s still bright daylight and, as a result, suppresses the natural melatonin production process. Such interference with our circadian rhythm keeps us awake and alert and can make it difficult for us to fall asleep or to stay asleep at night. In other words, our sleep quality gets adversely affected and decreases. Poor sleep quality and lack of sleep, or sleep deprivation, is linked to a whole lot of serious health problems, such as diabetes, various cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and obesity (diabetes).
Please refer to the Research Section of our website for more information, articles and research related to the impact of blue light.
How can we Solve this Problem and Protect Ourselves?
There are clearly enough reasons to be aware and concerned about blue light, which ultimately leads to the question: what can one do about it? Here are a few tips and suggestions how to limit the impact of blue light:
- Avoid bright lights and computer, phone and TV screens at least two hours before bedtime.
- Use red dimmed lights during nighttime, if possible. While all light can impact our body’s production of melatonin, red light is the least powerful one (blue light is the most potent in comparison).
- There are apps available that filter out blue light at nighttime (e.g. Screen Colors Filter or Night Tone).
In order to totally avoid the negative impact of nightly blue light exposure on our sleep, one would have to stay away from blue light sources for at least 90-120 minutes before bedtime. This would mean abstinence from TV, smart phones, computers, laptops, tablets, digital screens, modern room lighting, billboards etc, which would obviously not be very practical for most of us.
That's where the SUBLIME BLUE BLOCKERS come into the equation, as they are designed for exactly that purpose, to BLOCK BLUE LIGHT.
It's recommended to wear the glasses at least 90-120 minutes before your bedtime. Wearing the Sublimes allows us to use our smart phones, computers and tablets, or watch TV in the hours before bedtime without exposing our eyes to the hazardous artificial blue light. Blocking the blue light means that our melatonin production goes its natural way, which results in a better quality of sleep.
Not only are the SUBLIME BLUE BLOCKERS health beneficial, they actually also look pretty cool. There are five different Sublime models available, which all have the same blue blocking benefits, to suit your taste.