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Not getting enough sleep? Blame your electronic devices

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 7:09 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Whether at work, keeping up with friends and family or cruising social media, we’re all spending more time on electronic devices these days and--apparently--we’re often paying a price when we finally drag ourselves to bed.

It’s not the day’s troubles keeping us up. it’s the computers, the smart phones, the tablets themselves, or to be more accurate, the light from those devices.

Light--as we all remember from high school science class--includes a full spectrum of colors-- and our electronic devices are giving us an overdose from the blue end of that range.

“A lot of your digital devices all have led lights and that has more of that blue light,” notes Dr. Kallie Kappes of Reno Family Eye Care.” and there’s a lot of studies that show it can kind of mess up your sleep cycle a little bit.”

During the daytime blue light helps boost our mood and reaction times. At night, when we should be shutting down, that’s not what we need,

“Studies have show that in the evening it suppresses our melatonin and that doesn’t let us sleep as well.”

Lack of sleep, of course, can affect our overall health and that’s why blue light is getting a lot of attention in Dr. Kappes field these days.

“Yeahm blue light’s a hot topic right now in the eye world. You’re seeing a lot of over-the-counter blue light filter glasses and we do a lot of prescription coatings..”

There are theories blue light could have other more serious impacts, an increased risk of macular degeneration for instance, Dr. Kappes says the jury is still out on that worry, but.....“it’s still good to be protected from blue light, especially u-v light as well to make sure that you’re giving your eyes the most protection possible. In the future the studies may say ‘hey, this blue light is harmful and you need to protect against it.’”

Thankfully there are things you can do to protect your eyes and your sleep. There are those anti-blue light coatings on prescription lenses. those over the counter blue light specs.? She says they work

The simplest protection and guarantee of a good night’s rest? Turn off all devices long before hitting the sheets. Like that’s going to happen.

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