We’ve warned about how blue light can impact your sleep patterns more than once here at SleepBetter.org. Word is out this week, however, that exposure to green light can be just as bad.
It’s been known for some time that exposure to blue light, which is emitted in abundant amounts by electronics like televisions and smartphones, can tell your body to stop generating melatonin. Melatonin is the chemical that tells your body that it’s time to sleep.
According to new research, however, green light can be just as key to keeping your body clock in order. This from the USA Today:
Now scientists at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have found that green light, detected by the eye’s vision-producing rods and cones, is just as good as blue light at regulating the circadian system. Subjects were exposed to blue or green light just as they began to secrete nocturnal melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep/wake cycle. Contrary to expectations, researchers found that in dim light or for short periods of time, the green light was just as effective as blue light at regulating the circadian system. For extended periods, however, the blue light had a greater effect.
The scientists plan to look at the affects of red light next.
Our advice is simply to turn off the TV and other electronics a while before you plan to go to bed. Not only can the light be a disruptive influence, the programs (particularly action-packed shows) can get your brain racing to a level that isn’t conducive to sleep.