We live in a world where electronic devices have become a necessity, especially mobile phones. Who doesn’t love to sit with a mobile after a long hectic day and scroll through social media, and watch movies or series I couldn’t imagine spending my day without checking Snapchat and Instagram at least thrice a day. If my internet ever stops working even for a day I feel like I’m kind of missing a very important part of me. I am not exaggerating even a bit. You can talk to my mother and she will explain to you how all the problems in my life, whether related to my health or studies, are due to the reason that I use mobile a lot.
It’s okay to ignore your ammi when she tells you that you are suffering from fever because you use the mobile phone all the time. But scientists are carrying out researches on these new technology gadgets and proving their harmful effects on our health experimentally, which I find a little hard to ignore.
What is the blue light?
The light emitting from all the electronic devices which have become a major part of our existence have the blue light. Blue light is also emitted from the sun and is beneficial in the daytime for boosting mode and increasing alertness. But at night, when most of us use mobile phones, tablets, and laptops or enjoy our favorite television program, blue light is most dangerous.
Every human being has an internal clock which sets his sleep pattern. This is called the circadian rhythm. God has devised our body in such a way that we sleep at night when it’s dark and stay awake during daytime. Circadian rhythms are experimentally proved to be light dependent. Blue light can greatly affect our circadian rhythm.
Night time light exposure is causing health issues:
Some studies suggest that exposure to light at night can cause various diseases like diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
It’s not absolutely clear that how these diseases are related to exposure to light. One study shows that light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin (hormone of the body) and low melatonin levels can be associated with cancer.
A Harvard study suggests the relation of exposure to light, to diabetes and obesity. A study was carried out on 10 people whose circadian rhythm was adjusted. This causes high sugar level in their blood causing prediabetic state. Leptin, a hormone, which helps people feel full after a meal also went down.
I see young kids spending their entire day playing video games or watching cartoons. When I was a kid (feels so weird to say it like this) I used to wait the entire day for Asar (evening prayer) just so that I can go outside and play. I can feel you all 90s kid nodding in agreement. But my little cousins would rather kill aliens in a mobile game than go outside and live their lives. What amazes me most are the mothers who allow their kids to use these gadgets all the time. I could clearly remember that I and my brother were only allowed to use the computer only for an hour.
According to recent researches, blue light can cause blindness:
Researchers from the University of Toledo state that blue light emitting from mobile phones, tablets or televisions can cause generation of poisonous molecules in the eye’s light-sensitive cells. This can accelerate macular degeneration and may lead to other eye diseases.
In the study, various body cells were exposed to different type of light. This was seen that blue light causes reactions that generate poisonous chemical molecules in photoreceptor cells.
Macular degeneration can lead to blindness. According to a report published on Brightfocus Foundation, 11 million people in the US have some kind of macular degeneration and the number is likely to be double in 2050. The main reason is all these electronic light emitting devices. We use mobiles and laptops for both work and leisure which means most of the time we are exposed to these lights.
Try and protect yourself from blue light at night:
For a healthy lifestyle life, we have to try and protect ourselves from blue light and try to maintain minimum exposure.
- At night, sleep with lights off or if you have a problem sleeping in the dark use red light instead. Red light sounds even more horror, to be honest. I’ll rather choose darkness over waking up disoriented in the middle of the night in the red light. Red light has the least power to shift the circadian rhythm.
- Try not to use these gadgets at least 2-3 hours before going to sleep.
- If it’s necessary for you to work long hours at night, try and use blue light blocking glasses.