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Blue Light Effect on Human Sleep Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 1st, 2021

This paper investigated how blue light affects people’s sleep. The work consists of three parts, namely the introduction, the main content, and the conclusion. The introduction is comprised of a thesis statement and a description of the critical thoughts of the paper. The main part reveals that blue light reduces the amount of melatonin, which is a sleep hormone, which ensures high-quality sleep. Nowadays, a substantial portion of the blue light comes from the use of digital devices. In this paper, a few experiments that were conducted in order to prove the impact of the blue light were mentioned.

Moreover, an experiment that demonstrated the role of melatonin in the sleeping process was also described. The results of the research showed that blue light harms people’s sleep. Thus, regular use of digital devices, especially before bedtime, leads to sleep dysfunction, disturbance, and anxiety. Therefore, blue light has a negative impact on both physical and psychological health. At the end of the paper, recommendations on how to reduce the adversarial effect of the blue light were included. These recommendations include using a special app that controls the brightness of the screen and its colors, utilization of built-in screen protectors for mobile devices, and self-control. Conclusion summarised all the main ideas of this paper.

Nowadays, due to the development of modern technologies, people enjoy using digital devices that make their lives easier. However, while the utilization of digital tools brings some advantages, it also has some drawbacks. Thus, frequent use of these devices increases the amount of blue light that is absorbed by people. Excessive exposure to blue light may cause some health issues, such as eyestrain, headaches, and a sense of anxiety. Moreover, blue light has a significant impact on people’s sleep because it affects the production of the sleep hormone, which is called melatonin. In this paper, the effect of blue light on people’s sleep will be researched. Also, the evidence that supports the idea about the impact of blue light on sleep will be provided. Conclusion, which summarises the key concepts of the paper, will be included.

It is difficult to imagine people’s lives in the 21st century without using digital devices. Smartphones, notebooks, and computers are used by people quite often as they serve as excellent tools for studying, working, communication, and entertainment. However, people rarely think about the possible harm that can be brought by excessive use of digital devices. For instance, a new study found that blue light that comes out from smartphones, tablets, and other devices contributes “to the high prevalence of reported sleep dysfunction” (Headline Science, 2017, p.18).

Lisa Ostrin, a researcher, invited some individuals to take part in the experiment. As a result of this experiment, those participants who were wearing blocking glasses three hours before they fall asleep for two weeks had a 58% increase in their melatonin levels (Headline Science, 2017). The quality of sleep of participants was improved, and they noticed that they could fall asleep faster.

It is worth mentioning that melatonin plays a significant role in the promotion of sleep. It is proved that melatonin is a hormone that not only promotes sleep for healthy people but also helps to improve the sleep of those who acquired brain injury. Thus, a group of scholars from Australia did an experiment to prove the effectiveness of melatonin for sleep. They invited patients from Melbourne hospital who had sleep disturbances.

The patients were given a melatonin supplement for one month in order to see if it will bring any positive effects. The study revealed that melatonin increased sleep quality, sleep efficiency on vitality, and the mental health of participants (Grima et al., 2018). Therefore, people should control the time they spend using digital devices, especially before bedtime. Otherwise, people may face some difficulties related to sleep, such as troubled sleep or insomnia.

Another study that proves the negative effect of blue light on sleep was conducted among preschoolers. More than 400 women, who have children of 3-5 years old, participated in the survey designed to investigate the relation between the utilization of mobile devices and sleep. As a result of assessing the use of electronic devices by children, it was revealed that “daily table use was related to sleep disturbances” (Nathanson, & Beyens, 2018, p.202). These disturbances are caused by the blue light produced by digital devices. The blue light affects the production of melatonin, which is needed for high-quality sleep. Therefore, this study serves as another proof of the adverse effect of blue light on sleep.

While regular sleep disturbance may lead to the weakening of physical activity, it has an even heavier impact on the psychological health of people. It is proved that lack of high-quality sleep “can lead to fatigue, irritability, decreased pain tolerance, increased corticosteroid and catecholamine levels, and decreased ability to heal” (Radtke, Obermann, & Teymer, 2014, p.178). All these symptoms cause a feeling of exhaustion, and people start feeling stressed, unhappy, and even depressed.

Thus, people should reduce the amount of time spent on using digital devices. Even though it can be especially difficult nowadays, due to the extensive use of modern technologies, there are still some ways to eliminate the harm brought by the blue light. For example, it is possible to use blue light filters that cover the screen of mobile devices, such as tablets or smartphones. In addition, some apps automatically regulate the colors that are used in devices in order to reduce the unfavorable light effects. Moreover, it is crucial for adults to control themselves and remind children that the excessive use of digital devices affects their health negatively. Parents should understand that it is easier to teach kids to refuse to use smartphones before bedtime while they are little than explain the same things to grown teenagers.

Therefore, it is evident that an excessive amount of blue light negatively affects people’s health. In the modern world, blue light primarily comes from the digital devices that are actively used by both children and adults. Using electronic devices with screens, especially before bedtime, results in the reduction of melatonin, which is in charge of ensuring high-quality sleep for people. Numerous surveys and experiments prove the adversarial effect of blue light, and some of them were mentioned in the paper in order to support the argument. These surveys prove that melatonin helps to improve the sleep of healthy people, as well as those who had a brain injury. In the end, it is recommended to reduce the amount of time spent on using digital devices by means of blue light filters, special apps, and self-control.

References

Grima, N. A., Rajaratnam, S., Mansfield, D., Sletten, T., Spitz, G. & Ponsford, J. (2018). Efficacy of melatonin for sleep disturbance following traumatic brain injury: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Medicine, 16, 1–N.PAG.

Headline Science. (2017). Device light disturbs sleep. Science Teacher, 84(7), 18–21.

Nathanson, A. I., & Beyens, I. (2018). The relation between use of mobile electronic devices and bedtime resistance, sleep duration, and daytime sleepiness among preschoolers. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 16(2), 202–209.

Radtke K., Obermann, K., & Teymer, L. (2014). Nursing knowledge of physiological and psychological outcomes related to patient sleep deprivation in the acute care setting. MEDSURG Nursing, 23(3), 178–184.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Blue Light Effect on Human Sleep." July 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/blue-light-effect-on-human-sleep/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Blue Light Effect on Human Sleep'. 1 July.

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