Most of us have heard about the disruptive effects of blue light. The health website Mercola explains it like this,
Among other things, melatonin acts as a marker of your circadian phase or biological timing. In a nutshell, this hormone influences what time of day or night your body thinks it is, regardless of what time the clock on the wall displays. Somewhere between 50-1,000 lux is the activation range within which light will begin to suppress melatonin production. Melatonin is a regulator of your sleep cycle, and when it is suppressed, there is less stimulation to promote sleepiness at a healthy bedtime. This contributes to people staying up later and missing valuable sleep! (How the Cycles of Light and Darkness Affect Your Health and Wellbeing)
Reading a book, talking to your partner, listening to an audiobook or music, etc. These are all ways to eliminate blue light before sleep. It boils down to this, at night blue light bad, darkness good. Not that complicated, right?
You don’t have to be particular intelligent to understand this concept or manage to avoid blue light exposure before bedtime. But even if you did, E and I are both fairly intelligent people.
Every morning E has trouble waking up. His alarm goes off. He shuts it off and goes back to sleep – waking up an hour or two later to actually get up and go to work. Every afternoon he calls me from work or comes home for lunch and complains about how tired he is. When he gets home at the end of the day, he is exhausted. When we go to bed usually some time between 9 and 10pm he spend an hour or two surfing the internet on his phone. (As do I, but I’m not complaining about being tired.)
He has heard just as frequently as I have that blue light is bad for him. Actually, he has probably heard it at least twice as often as I have, because of how often I pester him about it. And yet, he continues to spend a minimum of an hour on his phone every night and wake up absolutely trashed the next morning. He appears unwilling to give up his “wind down time” as he calls it. Unwilling to change his wind down routine.
In addition to messing with his own schedule, the bright light from his phone in an otherwise dark room is often extremely disruptive to me. It is a point of frequent contention and so far, I can find no way clear of the issue.
So, how about you? Were you aware of the problems with blue light at night? Do you avoid blue light after a certain time? If you share your bed, how do you manage this issue with your bedmate?