It is no secret that in today’s world we are constantly surround by electronics.
And we talk often about the dangerous EMF emitted from these devices.
But, there is another danger.
One less talked about..
And that danger is blue light.
Bright blue light is a completely natural part of the visible light spectrum and it is necessary for regulating our circadian rhythm - our internal clock - or our sleep-wake cycle.
You might be wondering, “if we need this blue light, why is it so dangerous?”.
The danger isn’t necessarily in the light itself, but in the amount of the artificial light we are being exposed to.
Our cellphones, tablets, laptops, TVs, gaming devices, even LED light bulbs are exposing us to levels of artificial, high-energy blue light never before seen and our bodies are paying the price.
Chronic exposure to artificial blue light has been shown to have numerous consequences to our health and unfortunately, children may be especially at risk.
Until a child reaches age 14/15, their eyes are not yet fully developed. The crystalline lens of the eye is more transparent in children and when you couple that with their bigger pupils that allow them to take in larger amounts of light, the blue light that they are exposed to is taken into their bodies at much higher levels.
There is increasing research on blue light and its effect on our bodies however, here is what we know it affects.
This is the big one here. Think about all the things that are affected by lack of sleep.
Constant exposure to blue light, especially at night, has been shown to affect our natural body clock.
When blue light from the sun begins to fade in the evening, our brain signals to our body to begin releasing melatonin (the hormone that helps us fall asleep and stay asleep).
However, when we are exposed to blue light in the evening, it suppresses the production of melatonin and signals to the body to stay awake.
Unfortunately, this is another area where children are more sensitive to the effects of blue light.
When and adult and a child are both exposed to the same amounts of blue light, the melatonin suppressing effects are nearly double in children compared to adults.
Not only can you expect an array of learning problems simply from the disrupted sleep, but research shows that it actually goes beyond that.
Exposure to high levels of blue light can actually impact your Childs brain.
Children who spend more than two hours using screens — like smartphones, tablets, and gaming devices — have been shown to score lower on thinking and language tests.
Research has also shown that preschool-age children who spend more than two hours per day in front of screens are at an almost eight times greater risk for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.
Depression, anxiety, and suicide rates in children and adolescents have been on the rise and if you are finding your child to be moody, irritable, unable to cope with emotions, or lacking motivation- blue light exposure may be to blame.
High levels of blue light exposure could be affecting mental health in children by messing with the body's natural rhythms and stimulating the brain.
Does your child ever complain of burning, sore and tired eyes, headaches, blurred vision, or trouble focusing?
If so, blue light may be to blame.
Blue light can penetrate deep into the eye, reaching the retina, which makes high levels of blue light exposure a major risk to eye health.
Blue light from screens also scatters easily, which puts huge stress on the eyes as they work to keep re-focusing.
So what can you do?
1. We highly recommend getting a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Our Hedron BioTech Lite BlueBlockers are proven to block 99.3% of blue light while also providing shielding from radiation. You can find them HERE.
2. Consider swapping out your LED light bulbs for ones that don’t contain any blue light. Especially in bedrooms and common spaces like the living room and kitchen.
3. Keep blue light out of the bedroom. It is important to give your children and yourselves a sleeping space free of blue light. So that means no screens, consider swapping your light bulbs, use night lights with red light, and you can even install blackout curtains to keep any artificial light from street lights, cars, and other sources free from your bedroom.
4. Restrict screen time. Simple, yet effective. The most important part about restricting screen time is setting a curfew for when electronics need to be shut down. We recommend shutting them down at least two hours before bedtime.