The Blue Light Blues
Why is blue light so bad for your natural circadian rhythm
The simple answer: blue light blocks your natural melatonin from kicking in at the appropriate time. Circadian rhythm is HUGE. If you have something that interferes with your natural sleep cycle, you will suffer the negative consequences.
“While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).”*
How to help your body combat blue light and support your natural sleep cyclet:
Avoid blue light two to three hours before bed.
Get as much sun exposure/natural light during the day as possible.
Use red lights for night lights.
But I have a new baby!
If you have a new baby, you are most likely up during all hours of the night feeding. It can be SO easy to kill time scrolling on your phone or catching up on work using your computer. Though, ideally, not doing those things will be best for your body - if you must, then look into getting a pair of blue light blocking glasses.
Keeping the atmosphere of your home dark, calm, and void of blue light is going to aid your body’s natural sleep cycle and accustom your baby to her natural circadian rhythm as well. Your baby has no clue when she’s “supposed” to go to sleep. Her body will fall into the proper rhythm with time. You can help by maintaining the proper atmosphere: natural light during the day, minimal light exposure at night.*
Here’s to better sleep!
“Blue light has a dark side”. July 7, 2022. Health.Harvard.edu. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
Yates J. PERSPECTIVE: The Long-Term Effects of Light Exposure on Establishment of Newborn Circadian Rhythm. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018 Oct 15;14(10):1829-1830. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.7426. PMID: 30353824; PMCID: PMC6175794.