This simple life hack will improve your sleep AND your health
Have you heard of the harmful effects that blue light can have on your sleep?
Photo credit: Jay Wennington
Blue light emitted from devices such as phones, computers, and tablets can have long-lasting and harmful effects on our sleep patterns, sleep health, and overall health. (1) Blue light stops our body from being able to make our sleepy hormone, melatonin. (1) Even people that work night shift and are exposed to well-lit workplaces such as hospitals are subject to disrupted sleeping patterns, which can adversely affect their general wellbeing. (1) Shift workers are more likely to have chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, lowered immunity. (1)
Photo credit: Camilo Jiminez
Sleep deprivation can negatively influence our immune system and contribute to ill health, inflammation, anxiety, and depression. (1–9) Not having enough sleep can even make us experience pain more intensely. (10–12)
Photo credit: Amanda Jones
So, what exactly is this simple life hack that will help to improve your sleep AND your health?
Night-mode. Most devices these days have a ‘night-mode’ function, which limits blue light emission and changes it to a warmer, orange colour. You can set specific parameters for when, how long, and the “warmth” of the light you change it to. It’s such a small and simple change to something that has such a huge involvement in our everyday lives, but the impact of switching to using night-mode has profound benefits for your sleep and general health and wellbeing.
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- Magnavita N, Garbarino S. Sleep, health and wellness at work: A scoping review. Int J Environ Res Public Health [Internet]. 2017;14(11). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707986/pdf/ijerph-14-01347.pdf
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- Grandner MA, Alfonso-Miller P, Fernandez-Mendoza J, Shetty S, Shenoy S, Combs D. Sleep: Important considerations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Curr Opin Cardiol [Internet]. 2016;31(5):551–65. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5056590/pdf/nihms-817121.pdf
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- Besedovsky L, Dimitrov S, Born J, Lange T. Nocturnal sleep uniformly reduces numbers of different T-cell subsets in the blood of healthy men. Am J Physiol Integr Comp Physiol [Internet]. 2016;311(4):R637–42. Available from: https://www.physiology.org/doi/pdf/10.1152/ajpregu.00149.2016
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- Gerhart JI, Burns JW, Post KM, Smith DA, Porter LS, Burgess HJ, et al. Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Ann Behav Med [Internet]. 2017;51(3):1–10. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846493/pdf/nihms830037.pdf
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- Irwin MR, Olmstead R, Carrillo C, Sadeghi N, FitzGerald JD, Ranganath VK, et al. Sleep Loss Exacerbates Fatigue, Depression, and Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Sleep [Internet]. 2012;35(4):537–43. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296796/pdf/aasm.35.4.537.pdf
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