We have heard about how bad using your smartphones and all other electronic gadgets can be before you go to sleep, and not just for your eyes, but for your health as well. However do you know how exactly they are causing so much harm?
Well, there is a stream of photons in the screens of these objects, and when you expose your eyes to them your brain is telling you that you are still not tired, it’s not time for sleeping yet.
Therefore, you are continually checking your e-mail, your facebook, your text messages, and doing all this stuff until you see it is already 1:00 am, and you have to wake up for work in just 5 hours
The electronic devices emit a lot of colors, but the blue light they emit is especially dangerous for your health, if you look at it at night. Our eyes perceive light in a range of wavelengths.
Different wavelengths produce different color sensations, and those sensations help tune your internal clock. The blue light is very effective for predicting when morning is.
The electronics’ screens are actually imitating the sunlight, making it possible for you to see what’s on it even on the brightest light. However, the screen keeps you awake because the light is telling your brain not to produce the sleep hormone.
Therefore, at night, when you look at your screen your brain still thinks there is sun, and that confuses it into not producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep.
Melatonin is produced by your pineal gland several hours before you go to sleep. This hormone reduces alertness and makes you fall asleep easier.
And when your organism does not secret enough of this hormone you end up being awake late at night and waking up for work at 6 am, without getting enough sleep.
It is commonly known that sleep deprivation is very bad for your health. Sleeping puts your active neurons to rest. However, the neurons are also producing a lot of toxins in your brain that can be cleaned only if you get a good night sleep.
the reason is because if you sleep longer than 5-6 hours the supportive cells, called glial cells, activate. The function of these cells is cleaning up the toxins that the neurons produce.
Therefore, you need 7 to 9 hours of sleep so that the toxins do not stay in your brain. There is a small percent of people that are genetically different and they do not need that much sleep to function properly.
However, 95% of the world population has to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep in order for them to be healthy.
Although you may be proud that you have slept for just three hours last night and you can still work, or go to school, do not fool yourself. There are a lot of negative consequences of not getting the recommended sleep time:
- You will not have enough attention, and you will be easily distracted the next day.
- Your memory will be damaged, and you will have a great difficulty to study and learn new things, since your brain does not actively take any new information.
- It will also be very hard for you to concentrate on, and think through problems and it might even be impossible to solve them. Your brain is not capable of too much thinking.
- Moreover, the chances of gaining weight are greatly increased, since your insulin, that helps you balance your metabolism, will not be properly regulated. Therefore, the food you eat will make you add pounds and you will eat even more. Smartphone light actually disrupts the hormones that have a role to control hunger and they increase the risk of obesity.
- The levels of neurotoxin, a substance that is destructive to the nerve tissue as well as poisonous, will be higher. That also leads to not getting enough sleep.
- Depriving yourself from sleeping is also toxic to the connections in your cells.
- Less secretion of melatonin also means higher chances of depression, since not being able to sleep because of the light exposure makes you more anxious and depressed.
- Problems with your eyes are inevitable. The radiation of blue light and overexposure to it can damage the eye retina which can result in impairment off the eye sight. Moreover, it has been also studied whether this blue light can lead to cataracts. Instead, your eyes naturally need to be more exposed to red light during the night.
- And worst of all, exposure to this blue light during nighttime can increase the risk of breast andprostate cancer.
All this is scientifically proven. According to a study conducted by researchers in Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, people who expose themselves to the light of the screens of the electronic objects did not feel weariness and tiredness, so they did not need to go to bed early.
Also, their brains produced less of the sleep hormone, they had shorter REM sleep cycles, and it took a lot more time for them to fall asleep.
The study included another group who did not use gadgets before they went to sleep, but read a book instead. The results? They fell asleep easier and were much less tired the next day than the other group, although both groups got eight hours of sleep.
And it’s not just with the smartphones or iPads! The screens of the TVs, laptops, or any type of eReaders are just as bad for your brain.
You even don’t have to be staring at the screen! If your eyes are exposed to enough blue light your gland will immediately stop producing melatonin.
So drop your smartphones and lap tops if you want to go to sleep at least an hour before you go to bed. If you are still not able to do it, take a book instead, and try freeing yourself from this horrible habit of the 21st century.