Dr. Jim Martin 07/13/2016

trouble-sleeping.pngThe typical person spends the hours before bedtime staring at a TV, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Though few know it, these electronic devices emit harmful blue light. Exposure to blue light damages the eyes' retinal cells and can even lead to macular degeneration. Let's take a look at the relationship between blue light and melatonin before we dig into ways to help you obtain a solid night's sleep without going cold turkey on digital devices.

Blue Light and Melatonin

Just about every digital device is built with light-emitting diodes that generate blue light. These unique wavelengths actually limit the brain's ability to produce melatonin, making it much more difficult to obtain a solid night's sleep. Melatonin is a hormone created by the pineal gland that controls sleep/wake cycles. It is produced during the night when the room is totally dark.

Put the Gadgets Away Before Bedtime

Most of us spend our day in front of a computer screen. We then go home and watch TV while eating dinner. We then move on to video games or web surfing. Each of these activities requires staring at a screen for hours on end. Do your eyes and your mind a huge favor by avoiding screens in the hours leading up to your bedtime. It will give your mind some time to settle down before you attempt to sleep and also reduce the amount of blue light exposure.

Use Smaller Screens

If you can’t avoid screen time before bed, limit your exposure to blue light by using devices with small screens. Devices with diminutive screens produce less blue light than large ones. As a result, significantly less melatonin is suppressed.

Reduce The Brightness

Each digital display's brightness affects the human brain's ability to produce melatonin. Do your eyes and your sleep cycles a favor by turning down the screen's brightness. You will find that the decrease in light emission really does improve your quality of sleep.

Eyezen And Crizal Lenses

Two possible solutions to the blue light problem are Crizal and Eyezen lenses. These specially designed lenses actually filter out some of the blue-violet light that is emitted from digital devices. Crizal and Eyezen claim that their lenses reduce upwards of 20% of harmful blue light rays. Give them a shot and you just might preserve your eye health, even if you spend the majority of your day looking into screens.

If you'd like to learn more about blue light and how you can proactively protect your eyes, Broome Optical can help. Schedule an appointment and we'll outfit you with the tools to protect your eyes.

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