“Don’t use your cell phone at night it will keep you up and mess with you circadian rhythm,” we have all heard this warning. This is the most common thing we hear about blue light, but what is Blue light and how does it relate to energy and your circadian rhythm? Photosensitive light waves can have many different colors and the one we are talking about is blue light. But I don’t want to talk about just any blue light but the blue-turquoise light that mimics natural sun light.
We hear mostly about blue light as it relates to our cell phones but the blue-turquoise light can be used to actually correct our circadian rhythm. It works by transmitting the blue light into photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells (ipRGCs). The wave length of the blue-turquoise light is about 465 to 500nm. The vision system of our brain detects this wave length because it’s necessary for our vision, eye and brain health and helps it manage our circadian rhythm. Since blue light mimics natural light, we are supposed to have our greatest dosage of it in the morning -just like the sun shines right after dawn early light. Cell phones will also emit blue light which is why it is not recommended to use before bed as it stimulates the ipRCGs and keeps you energized and awake. The blue light from the cell phone is around 460 to 490nm and will affect melatonin secretion but can also be used in the morning to help wake you up although it is not at the exact dosage necessary for a therapeutic treatment.
My parents learned about blue light therapy at a seminar. The class explained how blue light therapy was used to help people manage their circadian rhythm and give them more energy throughout the day and how it was used while traveling into different time zones. They got the Blue Light device and used it daily in the morning to reset their circadian rhythm and have loved how they felt ever since. They have even commented on how, “awake their brain feels.”
Fun Fact about me is that I am one of the few people who actually enjoys the time change in the winter. I like getting up as the moon is disappearing just before dawn so I get the glow of sunlight, so you would say my body naturally craves blue light- I had just never put the science behind my preference. But getting up in pure darkness made me just want to snuggle under the warm covers; I would still wake at my usual time but I just didn’t want to move feeling like my energy was just low. I started using Blue light therapy to help motivate me to jump out of bed and have been feeling a bit more zazzy in the mornings. It is also very effective as an adjunct therapy to lifestyle changes, sleep management, diet and exercise.
It is important to purchase light brands that are the wavelength 465 to 500 nm and are UV and Infrared free so no damage will come to the eyes themselves. (That being said there are still some conditions out there that should consult their doctor before using blue light therapy.) If you purchase one with 380-440 nm, it will be the Blue-Violet light wave length which will harm eyes.
So if you are going to do your social media and want to choose the healthy time of day, consider doing your Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snap Chat in the morning and not at night since it is much healthier for your circadian rhythm.
Here are some of the blue light devices I recommend:
AYO Light Therapy glasses: https://goayo.com/
Philips Blue Light therapy Devices (there are several to choose from): https://www.usa.philips.com/c-m-pe/light-therapy/wake-up-therapy
***I have personally used Philips goLite Blu energy light and Ayo Light therapy glasses and really like them both.***
This is the time of year of more darkness. Let this article be your Light! (Blue Light, that is).