With the conversion of learning taking a drastic step into the frontier of the internet, all students must solely rely on devices such as computers, tablets or phones as their source of communication and education.
As great as it sounds to finally have assignments digitalized and work instantaneously graded, many online learners complain of painful headaches and sore eyes. The problem? Blue light.
Blue light is exactly what it sounds like, in the visible light spectrum blue light has more energy but a shorter wavelength, meaning eyes can be exposed to wavelengths at a higher rate compared to other colors in the spectrum.
Many sources of blue light exist, the biggest one being sunlight in the daytime, and other secondary sources such as LED lights, televisions, and yes, your phones and computers. For the most part, during the daytime blue light helps regulate your sleep cycle, improve your mood and attention span. However, symptoms such as migraines and digital eye strain can occur if you don’t take a break from the screen.
According to the Harvard Medical School, medical researchers conducted a comparative study on the effects of 6.5 hours of blue light exposure to green light exposure.
Their results found that “The blue light suppresses melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).” To simplify, blue light hinders your body’s natural ability to produce melatonin, which helps with falling asleep, and derails one’s sleep schedule by twice the hours compared to that of green light exposure.
In this scenario, let’s say someone usually falls asleep at 9pm, however long time blue light exposure will cause them to fall asleep at 12am instead, meaning that blue light causes people to lose hours of sleep. However there is a way to combat this, if blue light affects people very severely they have the options of purchasing a blue light filter screen or blue light blocking glasses.
Just make sure to take a break from the computer once in a while, it might just save your eyes!