It's well known that sleep is essential to our health and well-being and that many factors affect our sleep quality. One often overlooked factor is exposure to light, mainly blue light.

What is blue light?

Blue light is a colour of visible light with a shorter wavelength than other colours. It is naturally emitted by the sun, but we are also exposed to artificial blue light emitted by the screens of our electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and televisions.

How does blue light affect our sleep?

Blue light can affect our sleep by suppressing melatonin production, a hormone that regulates our circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is our internal clock that regulates biological functions such as our sleep/wake cycle, body temperature and hormone release. Melatonin is produced in the brain in response to darkness, which means that melatonin production increases when we prepare for sleep.

However, exposure to blue light can disrupt this melatonin production by tricking our brains into thinking it's still time to be awake. Screens emit a large amount of blue light, and using our electronic devices late at night can prevent melatonin production and disrupt our sleep. 

What can we do to minimize the impact of blue light on our sleep?

We can take several steps to minimize the impact of blue light on our sleep.

- Reduce exposure to blue light before sleep

Reducing exposure to blue light before bed can help stimulate melatonin production. Avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime, or use blue light filters to reduce blue light emission from your screens.

- Avoid looking at screens in the dark

Looking at screens in the dark increases exposure to blue light and can suppress melatonin production. 

- Establish a regular sleep routine

Establishing a regular sleep routine can help regulate our internal clock and promote better sleep quality. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

- A blue-light filter in your glasses

A blue-light filter can help minimize the impact of blue light on our sleep by blocking the harmful blue light emitted by screens.

Exposure to blue light can have a negative impact on our sleep by suppressing melatonin production. However, there are several steps we can take to minimize this impact, such as reducing exposure to blue light before bed, avoiding looking at screens in the dark, and establishing a regular sleep routine. Also, ask your IRIS professional for a blue-light filter in your glasses. 

By following these tips, you can improve your sleep quality and overall health.