And hopefully, you will be, too…, or maybe won’t be as you will see in this latest blog! Or if you would prefer to listen along with Dr. Dave and Dr. Abby, CLICK HERE!
Hello, and Thank you for reading along!
Researchers believe that there may be a link between exposure to bright artificial light and poor health; namely artificial blue light, and, are you ready for this…, weight gain, insulin resistance, obesity, and other diseases and disorders of metabolism- all the nasty stuff you don’t want!
Before getting too far along, what’s the difference between natural blue light and artificial blue light?
Natural blue light is found with the whole spectrum of other wavelengths that create what we call white light. It is part of all 12 light/color wavelengths.
Artificial blue light is a man-generated thing and is produced by removing the red, yellow, and orange wavelengths from light leaving the blue and green waves. This disturbs the natural balance of light and makes it troublesome.
This is seen mostly in LED lights and those lights used in tablets, cell phones, laptops, flat-screen TVs, and light bulbs- fluorescent and LED.
We’ve seen this “logic” before where instead of just eating nutrient-dense whole foods, or in this case getting natural sunlight, food manufacturers remove what they think is the healthy part, or bad part and sell us their “new and improved” version of Mother Nature!
It never works.
So, eat your nutrient-dense whole foods in natural daylight and you will be set!
So what problems are associated with artificial blue light?
- Increased insulin resistance and higher peak glucose levels.
-People who were exposed to artificial light and blue light throughout the day tended to be heavier than those who limited artificial light and got more natural sunlight throughout the day.
-In the evening, when lighting should be dimmer and more aligned with orange, red, and yellow waves, a whole bunch of not-so-good things happened when artificial blue light from screens, LED and fluorescent bulbs were coupled with eating- people experienced greater insulin resistance, and higher blood glucose levels, AND WERE NOT ABLE TO GET THEIR BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS BACK TO BASELINE LEVELS!
-What this means is that bright artificial lights and meals AFTER noon led to higher risks of insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
So much for late-night eating, snacking, and staring at screens!
- Artificial blue light from the LED bulbs in Smartphones, TVs and
Tablets can cause eye damage.
-Don’t ask me how this works, but somehow LED light no longer contains the full spectrum of natural wavelengths. Having somehow made the light void of red and infrared wavelengths, the remaining blue/green light waves can cause myopia (nearsightedness), macular degeneration (blindness), obesity, diabetes, brain degeneration, and hormonal issues.
Kind of a heavy price to pay for spending a fair amount of our dark hours scrolling social media or watching TV…, AND eating!
GO TO BED!!!!!!!!!! It’s better for you anyhow.
Think of this- midnight. What does that mean? 12 am? No…, it means the middle of the night! You should have been in bed and asleep at least 2 -3 hours before. And here’s another huge problem with nighttime screens and artificial lights….
- And this is a biggie…, artificial blue light can trick the brain into thinking it is daytime and as a result, alter, and/or even stop the production of melatonin- a hormone needed to go to sleep at night…, you won’t be able to go to sleep. Ouch, kind of need sleep….
-A number of blogs ago I talked about the importance of sleep, and getting between 7 to 9 hours each and every night. As they say, “This is non-negotiable!”
So what’s a girl to do?
Limit screen time, use screen filters to lower blue light exposure, wear blue light-blocking glasses, yellow-tinted computer glasses, or glasses with anti-reflective lenses, and perhaps replace some of the lighting in your house with orange/red/yellow wavelength bulbs. I will tell you about a company that I use later!
Alright, what about the other side of the coin, natural light, and natural blue light…,
Natural sunlight/daylight and natural blue light are part of the normal light spectrum and come from the sun. Natural blue light can do a lot of good things for us- boost alertness, help memory, raise mood, and improve attention span and reaction time.
Natural blue light is a good thing.
Morning blue light is what wakes us up by raising our cortisol levels and is activated when light hits our pituitary glands. It sets our circadian rhythm for the day.
Blue light disappears by sunset so melatonin can come out to play, and help a person fall asleep. Light is the switch that controls this cortisol-melatonin see-saw.
Interestingly, the melatonin that is released at night to help you sleep is made during the day from the morning light.
Oh no, looks like a person might have to go outside and get some sun throughout the day!
In fact, those who spent a few minutes each early morning, exposed to the early morning sun- no sunglasses, glasses, or contacts weighed less than those who were exposed to most of their bright light after 12 pm noon.
Sunlight is 42% infrared light and infrared light stimulates collagen, increases bone healing, and heals wounds. Infrared is proven to be “anti-aging” as it reduces wrinkles and scars.
Sunlight?!?!?…, I thought that stuff was deadly, isn’t it?
In fact, the early morning sunrise sun does not have UVA and UVB rays which can be harmful if a person gets too much, and actually early, morning sunlight pre-conditions our skin from any potential UVA and UVB rays that will come later in the day. In fact, a person will be less likely to burn later in the day as well, having gotten early morning, infrared sunlight.
So, once again…, what’s a girl to do?
Make sure you take your absolute last bite 3-4 hours before going to bed.
Once the sun sets, keep your house as dimly lit as possible. Turn those overhead lights off, and limit all screens- making sure no screens at all at least an hour or so before you go to bed. Remember the emanation of artificial blue light will trick our brains into thinking it is daytime, and reduce the release of melatonin.
Try to wake up with the rising sun and get out there,
“And get you some!”
This will decrease melatonin, increase cortisol and you will start to feel awake.
Between 10 am and 4 pm, it would be a good idea to get outside and get some UVA and UVB ultraviolet light ray exposure.
UVA is critical in making Nitric Oxide and is responsible for relaxing our vasculature and increasing our energy, and memory and is considered anti-aging.
UVA light also triggers the production of serotonin and dopamine, and endorphins providing a small opiate effect. This should make a person feel good about himself, encourage him to go for the gusto, and just feel better overall.
UVB is for Vitamin D synthesis.
There is an app called D Minder that can let you know when it is solar noon and the best time to synthesize Vitamin D.
I have found a company called BedTime Bulbs and they make a bulb that I use in my reading lamps at night, and throughout the house. They have very minimal blue light emanation.
In fact, each night before we go to bed, Dr. Diane and I sit under a BedTime Bulb and read a couple of Dr. Seuss’s books. Since doing this, we have been getting 7 to 9 hours each night, and having some of the wildest dreams.
Here is the link to BedTime Bulbs. You should check it out. https://shop.bedtimebulb.com/ Ask for Greg.
Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to talk about this stuff. I’m not really sure who else is available to help you, and a person really, really needs to handle their screen times and sunlight to be healthy and well.
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