It's fully understood that we are on our tech more than we've ever been before - especially late into the night (how many of you have dozed off, phone in hand?).
If you are an iPhone user, the new i.OS update includes a new feature to help reduce blue light in the evenings to help with sleep quality. "Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location, then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum.1 In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings."
It's important to understand the large implication that messing with our sleep cycles and circadian rhythms have on our overall health. Now researchers are finding increasingly that an out-of-phase circadian rhythm is a health hazard.
“Maintaining synchronized circadian rhythms is important to health and well-being,” says Dieter Kunz, director of the Sleep Research and Clinical Chronobiology Research Group at Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin. “A growing body of evidence suggests that a desynchronization of circadian rhythms may play a role in various tumoral diseases, diabetes, obesity, and depression.”
Interestingly a Harvard studyshed a little bit of light on the possible connection to diabetes and obesity. The researchers put 10 people on a schedule that gradually shifted the timing of their circadian rhythms. Their blood sugar levels increased, throwing them into a prediabetic state, and levels of leptin, a hormone that leaves people feeling full after a meal, went down.
While light of any kind can disrupt sleep hormones, blue light 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).
Although the majority of us are on our mobile phones in the evening, if you are like me you may have the bad habit of getting lost in the internet jungle on your laptop when the sun dips low.
I've been using the desktop app .flux for over a year now - at first it was a little strange to get use to but now I find if it's not turned on the blue light from my laptop really irritates my eyes.
So if you haven't updated yet... get on it!
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