This is due to the fact that when we don’t get a quality night’s sleep our eye health suffers. But did you know that there is actually a connection between our exposure to blue light rays at a particular time of the day that can disrupt our body’s normal circadian rhythm? What is the body’s circadian rhythm? According to the national sleep foundation the circadian rhythm refers to a 24 hour internal clock that basically controls your normal sleep cycle. It includes periods of the day between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. In other words it’s like an internal clock that tells us when to get up and when to retire to bed and it determines our sleeping patterns. For example, some people at certain periods of time during the day, for instance, in the morning between 4 am and 6 am experience cycles associated with low energy. These low energy levels often carry into the afternoon periods whereby people feel like taking an afternoon nap between 2.30 and 3.30 pm. Then, there is a high energy peak after this period that extends to about 6 pm. This can differ depending on your daily schedule as some people are night owls while others are morning people.
Why is maintaining a good circadian rhythm so important? This is due to the fact that this 24 hour clock determines sleep and wake patterns. It also controls bodily functions and hormonal levels in the body. If our circadian rhythm is disrupted this can lead to problems like sleep disorders such as insomnia and this can also cause problems with our eye health. For example, lack of sleep can cause dry eyes and a deficiency in moisture in the eyes can also lead to eye problems related to light sensitivity, blurry vision, redness and eye fatigue.
Did you know that using your smartphone before going to sleep can actually disrupt your body’s normal circadian rhythm? Actually, this is due to the fact that smartphones emit blue light rays that affects the cells in our eyes in such a way that it communicates to the brain that it is time to wake up. As a result, this signals an alertness response in the brain that can actually lead to sleep deprivation thereby causing you to stay up late at night.
Additionally, sleep experts discourage the use of smartphones before going to bed also due to the fact that the blue light emitted from such devices decreases the body’s natural production of the sleep hormone called melatonin. This is an essential hormone that helps us to get a good night’s sleep. It also encourages healthy sleep patterns and helps us to maintain a normal circadian rhythm.
So, what is the solution to this problem? Well, if you find it very difficult to avoid using your smartphone before going to bed try wearing special glasses that filter harmful blue light while accessing such devices. Studies have shown that people who wore special glasses such as orange tinted glasses that filter blue light were still able to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm and still had healthy levels of the sleep hormone melatonin in their system.