Light to humans is a source of life. It allows us to live at our full potential and evolve in the rapidly changing world. However, as with anything good that will always have a bad side and continuous and uncontrolled exposure to some spectrum of artificial light creates an unsuitable health burden and worry. Blue light plays a significant role in this regard.
Most of the time, we think of blue light as a danger to our sight, which of course, does harm our eyes. But detailed research and observation reveal that beyond our sight and sleep when it comes to blue light health effects. Could it be that there’s more that we don’t know? Let’s look at what the —— study will reveal to us.
As we age, the level of our tolerance to stresses from the environment declines steadily because of the reduced mitochondrial efficiency. This means that for a stress like blue light, the strength to deal with it declines as we age; thus, it affects our health on a cellular level as we age. It doesn’t really make sense until we remind ourselves of the vitality of mitochondria to our existence. It’s responsible for the cellular production of energy that fuels the functioning of tissue, organ, and the entire body system.
In 2019 Nature Partner Journals carried out a study on Drosophila melanogaster to see how blue light might affect the lifespan of humans in the long run. The study was done on fruit flies, where it was discovered that long-term exposure to blue light has a recounting effect on the brain, mitochondrial, and entire longevity.
In the study, they grouped the flies into different segments and exposed each group to different light conditions.
The first group of fruit flies was exposed to twelve hours of blue light and twelve hours of darkness simultaneously on a daily basis. The second group is kept in complete darkness, and the third group is exposed to white light that is short of the blue spectrum. The study also included another group of older flies exposed to the same condition as the first group to observe the difference in the blue LED effect as we age.
At the end of the study, two things become obvious.
(1) the flies kept in complete darkness and white light survived longer than the ones exposed to alternating twelve hours of blue light and darkness. They discovered that blue light reduces longevity by accelerating ageing in the latter, which is why they didn’t survive as long as the former group.
(2) under equal intensity and periods of blue light exposure, younger flies are less affected compared to the older ones. In other words, the older the fly, the more vulnerable they are to blue light’s effect on its visual, locomotive, and cognitive health.
Even though this study is carried out on a preclinical insect model, they still iterate the significant effect of blue light on human sight, movement, mental and entire longevity over the long term.
In every journey, there is always a destination. What are we driving at? Screens and led lights are now part of our lives in this modern world. Except you will disappear into the woods, you’re still exposed to them daily and sometimes even at night. Of course, they serve many benefits to our existence, but in the long run, excessive exposure to them might cause more harm than we might think. What most people know is that blue light can affect their sight and sleep. Although these are very deteriorating in themselves, the study also shows the possibility of this light affecting important parts of the human body, speeding up their ageing and reducing their time on earth.
Fortunately, there are ways we can keep saving and enjoy the benefits of technology at the same time. Thanks to blue light-blocking glasses, screen filters, eye masks, and other inventions that aid in reducing human exposure to this light. You can also use a red night light so that you won’t need to turn on the main light if you need to do something at night. Taking a break from digital devices two hours before bedtime and turning off your light when going to bed is also very essential.
All these, among many others, help anyone to reduce exposure to blue light and thus save themselves from future risk of eye, brain and longevity problems.
Even if all blue light does is cause vision and sleep disorders, we need to reduce exposure to it as much as possible. Now that we know it can also affect our cognitive and longevity in the long run, then it’s more imperative to block it than ever before.
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- The 4 Pillar Plan: How to Relax, Eat, Move and Sleep Your Way to a Longer, Healthier Life
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- Perfect Health
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