Excuse me whilst i put on my blue block glasses
Recently, we have been discussing mindfulness and what is it to us at Dreamhunter. Having a health professional (Remmy) in the office, of course things were eventually going to lead down the path of artificial lighting. It is something most of us are aware of, but probably don't think too much about.
Well, as science advances and catches up to technology we can often be surprised what we thought to be safe, is not. We are certainly not telling you to completely abandon all lighting and live in the dark, we would miss you! What we are aiming to get across to you guys, is there are little tweaks and tips we can implement to ensure we are protecting not only our eyes but our brains too! We did some research and it looks like the average person is spending four hours per day on their mobile phones...and that's just one device! What about laptops, TV's, computers, LED lighting, lamps and tablets? EEP, that is a lot of screen time.
Being small business owners, we don't always have the luxury of working during the day and relaxing in the evenings, whilst there is no doubt we love it unfortunately when we switch on those artifical lights in the evening, our chronobiological clocks become affected. Artifical lighting has allowed us to be productive and given us greater flexibility but it has also shown to have negative effects on the brain, mood, retina and even on the endocrine system.
Im confused, there is different light?
Yep, light is made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in wave lengths. Each wave length represents a different colour and category; gamma rays, x-rays, UV rays, infrared light, visible light and radio waves. Included in this is blue light (both artificially and naturally), which is found everywhere! Blue light has a shorter wave length, which actually means it requires more energy than other forms of light. When we expose our bodies to high amounts of blue light, unfortunately studies are showing this can do some real damage (damn, all that late night instagram screen time).
We get blue light naturally from the sun (hello blue skies), which helps to regulate our sleep rhythms, mood, alertness, reaction time and increase that feeling of well being. That is great right? Not when we mess up those rhythms by over-exposing our eyes to this type of lighting. Due to blue waves being shorter, they flicker more easily than longer, weaker wavelengths creating a harsh glare on the eyes. Whilst the blue light emitted from the sun is in fact stronger, it is the long periods of time throughout the day and night that we are over-exposing our eyes to blue light that might be doing us damage.
What kind of damage?
- Eye strain (blurriness, headaches, neck/back pain, difficulty focusing, irritated eyes)
- Increased risk of depression
- Disruptions to circadian rhythm (lowering melatonin in the evenings)
- Increased risk of some cancers
- May cause permanent damage to the eyes
- Causing weight gain (increasing blood sugar levels)
What can we do?
- Increase exposure to red and infrared lighting (you can purchase infrared bulbs for when you are at home)
- Sleeping in a pitch black room (allowing your eyes to be refrained from any kind of lighting)
- Purchasing software for your computer and devices that automatically alters the lighting of your screen
- Avoiding screen time and blue lighting two hours before bed completely (or switching iPhone to nightshift)
- Purchasing blue blocking glasses for the evening (especially if you work nightshift) https://www.baxterblue.com.au/
- Turn down brightness on all devices
We always like to see the positives in things and we understand this information can be difficult to grasp, but it makes sense right? We have been implementing small changes at Dreamhunter, to ensure we can do what we can to make sure we look after ourselves. Technology is not slowing down and let's face it neither are our businesses, so we do what we can in this fast paced place we call home!
Dreamhunter Team x