Starting today, I’ll be bringing out a series, the first ever on this blog – #RebootYourLife, on the second Friday of every month. I’ll be talking about the small but significant ways of bringing in little changes into our everyday living by highlighting those aspects that we often tend to overlook in the mad rush to get on with our busy lives.
Would love to have your thoughts on this. Thinking of keeping it organic at the moment and letting it evolve, as we keep moving along. As always, will look forward to your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below.
Electronic devices are now an essential part of our lives. Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours staring at a digital screen. Studies suggest that 60% of people spend more than 6 hours a day in front of a digital device.
But, today, I’m not going to talk about the devices that we use every day. Rather, my focus would be on the light that they emit. Have you noticed this bluish light that emanates from all our devices? That is precisely the cause of my concern. I’ve been suffering from neck and shoulder pain for a while now. After a few weeks, and a bit of research into what could be the possible triggers, I’ve realised that it has to do with the way I use my mobile and my laptop. The pain is quite severe and on some days, leaves me quite helpless. I have been reading up on the way we use our devices and one of the things that I accidentally discovered was this bluish light and how it poses so many potential health hazards for us.
I’m talking about the light from the screens of our televisions, smartphones, iPads, tablets and other such electronic devices that use LED backlight technology to help enhance screen brightness and clarity. We may not realise that these devices actually emit very strong blue light waves. Because of their widespread use and increasing popularity, we are gradually being exposed to more and more sources of this blue light and for longer periods of time.
So, what is it about this artificial blue light that is so damaging and why is it a cause for concern for all of us? According to eminent Australian Scientist, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, it is the screens in our life that are stopping us from getting quality shut-eye.
In other words, this blue light is doing us a lot more harm than good. Dr Karl goes on to explain how the blue light is actually interfering with the production of melatonin in the brain. Melatonin is responsible for giving us a good night’s sleep. But, that is not all. In fact, during our sleep, Melatonin also monitors our blood pressure, influences our thermoregulation and more importantly, our glucose metabolism.
This means, if you are not getting a good night’s sleep, you are probably increasing your chances of suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes, two of the most common yet potentially deadly diseases of our times. While natural blue light gives us plenty of health benefits, it is the artificial blue light that is our cause for concern. (see below)
So, what can we do to avoid this?
There are simple things that we can apply ourselves to, that can help us avoid the blue light as often as possible. This could be by changing the settings of our devices, and letting more warmer light in, exposing ourselves to a lot of bright natural light during the day and reducing the screen times with our devices during the night, particularly the two hours prior to bed-time.
You will notice that your quality of sleep and your state of health will be vastly improved.
So, act before it is too late. Turn off your devices at night. Switch off your smartphone before it kills your sleep and ruins your health. Your health should be of utmost priority and no one else can effect this change better than you.
I know I am suffering from a chronic back and neck pain and have had episodes of insomnia that had a lot to do with my smart-phone usage. Have you ever suffered from something similar? Would love to hear from you in the comments below, if you have put into place some effective ways of dealing with this.
I like this series. Being a techie, I spend lot of time in front of the laptop and the smartphone. On days, when I just complete my work, shut the laptop and hop onto the nearby bed, it is very difficult to sleep. It then takes me atleast an hour to get to sleep. These rays are harmful. Looking forward to more on these.
Esha Mookerjee Dutta
Thanks so much, Lata. I can imagine how much it affects all of us even without knowing about the blue light. The fact is now I cannot but be cautious because it is absolutely important in today’s world where we are connected to our gadgets 24/7.
This is a good series you have started here Esha. I am myself facing these problems due to overlong stretches on the mobile. Streaming eyes and insomnia I already have. Yes, time to do a digital detox. All the best for this thoughtful series.
Esha Mookerjee Dutta
Thanks so much Kala. Glad to know you think so. Laptops and phones are so much a part of our lives now, its hard to think how long we can stay without peeping into them for a stretch of time and yet, these are issues that all of us re facing increasingly these days. Perhaps time to stop and think how to minimise our time with them. Some changes are mandatory to our wellbeing and we alone can make those changes.
A Walk into the Woods
I usually change my place from the bed to the couch if I don’t get sleep.
Esha Mookerjee Dutta
That’s interesting! Must try it some time.