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Health Effects of Blue Light

There's a Reason Why Everyone's Telling You to Unplug

Mental health and wellbeing is very close to our hearts, and while we truly aim to have an always-on approach to covering all aspects of mental health, we have chosen to shine an extra bright light on #WorldMentalHealth today, and for the rest of October.

We bring you The Big Burn Out — a content series made up of honest personal essays, expert advice and practical recommendations.

If it feels as though every guide on how to maintain your mental and emotional health seems to be make some mention of "unplugging", it's because there's merit in the idea. Rather than completely doing away with your phone, TV, and tablets, unplugging can simply mean limiting how much unnecessary screen time you expose yourself to.

The science behind unplugging revolves around how our bodies respond to blue light. Although our biggest source of blue light — daylight — poses no problem because our bodies' own circadian rhythms are in sync with it, overexposure to artificial blue light through LED screens from things such as computers and phones can throw our bodies out of sync. Read on for two ways your bedtime scrolling is affecting your well-being everyday.

Increased Risk of Obesity

According to a study into the link between blue light and metabolism, prolonged exposure to artificial light in the evening can affect the body's ability to regulate its natural rhythm, which in turn throws many of our internal functions off balance. It can result in disrupting the body's leptin levels, thereby inhibiting your ability to tell whether you're hungry or full.

Disrupted Sleep

Night time exposure to blue light can can trick the brain into the wakefulness you associate with daytime and suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that aids in regulating the body's circadian rhythm. Our bodies run on internal clocks known as the circadian rhythm. Once that happens, you might experience trouble relaxing into sleep.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Emily Faulstich
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