Artificial lights are everywhere: in our homes, in our schools, in our offices – they’re indispensable. If we plan on reading a book at 10 pm, we need artificial light. If we want to watch TV – once more, we are exposed to artificial light. Checking out our phones for the time or a random Facebook notification? Again, artificial light exposure. This kind of light can affect both our moods and health in ways that we cannot even imagine.
The Need of Light
We cannot live without light – of any kind. For example, we need sunlight for the amount of vitamin D that it provides us with. This particular vitamin helps us feel less lethargic and thus, it will lift our moods. But too much of it, and we’ll be predisposed to premature aging and skin cancer. The same thing applies to artificial light; we need a bit to function properly, but it can get dangerous if we’re exposed too much to it.
The truth is that we cannot fully depend on natural light – especially during winter and especially if we work indoors. Just imagine trying to read a printed document in a place that doesn’t have enough light. Not only is it uncomfortable to do so, it’s bad for our eyesight as well!
Where It Gets Bad
Potential negatives of artificial light are plenty. Take, for instance, the flickering of a fluorescent light. You might not even be aware of it, but your eyes are – which is why you may feel eye strain or headaches every now and then. Some people are so sensible that this exact light may be their trigger to anxiety and migraine. Other studies show that fluorescent light may also weaken your immune system, cause hormonal disruption and even cause tumor/cancerous formations.
And the problem doesn’t only lie in fluorescent light; it’s also in the blue light that the electronics emit. This kind of light can come from devices such as TVs, computer screens, smartphones and even your digital clock.
Blue Light and Sleep Disruption
We do not notice how bad blue light is for our health until it’s time for us to receive less of it. For example, do you have the habit of watching TV before going to sleep, or scrolling down social media accounts from your smartphone? You should know that these innocent-looking habits can affect your health in many ways; you can experience problems such as depression, weight gain, and even heart disease!
And here’s why: exposing yourself to blue light during nighttime can disrupt your internal clock. You need a lot of it during the first time of the day to increase alertness and productivity, and less of it, later on, to prepare your body for sleep.
In other words, exposing yourself to artificial light in the second part of the day will keep your body awake even though you know you want to sleep. This is exactly why you should avoid using electronics in the evening prior to going to sleep, especially in the bedroom.