BLUE LIGHT (NOT SO) SPECIAL


Research has demonstrated that nighttime light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin, the major hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, which controls sleep-wake cycles.

 

After 8, do you:

  • Check and respond to email
  • Surf the web
  • Play video games
  • Use mobile phones and laptops
  • Respond to a text message in bed
  • Watch your favorite late-night program on TV
  • Keep bright lights on in the house

These are all are major sources for suppressing melatonin at night. Even being exposed to normal levels of room lighting can have similar negative effects on melatonin.

Melatonin suppression has far worse consequences than simply poor sleep outcomes: it has also been shown to increase the risk of cancer (especially of the breast), impair immune system function, and lead to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and heart disease.

As you can see by the above checklist, monitoring blue light exposure is something you can do to help get your melatonin production back on track.

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