Red Light, Blue Light – What They Are & How They Affect You

I have been hearing about the effects of different light wavelengths and it got me curious to learn about the different kinds of light and how they affect your sleep, concentration & mood. 

How Red and Blue Lights affect your sleep, concentration and mood

It’s been studied and found that too much blue light in the evening can keep you from winding down at night and also affects sleep and concentration. I remember seeing the effects of blue light on my son when he was a little boy. If I turned on a Disney movie he would sit and watch the whole thing and hardly move but watch out afterward, it affected his mood big time. He could be a bit of a bear when he was younger before he learned to control his emotions. 

It was from the blue light. It did this because blue light has a shorter, high energy wavelength which causes us to be more alert, have quicker reaction times and have a more energized mood. It doesn’t allow us to relax or recharge as much as we need. Instead, it causes us to want to do and not just be, like my son at bedtime after the movie.

Now we’ll break things down a even further.  

Where do we come into contact with most Blue Light?

Blue light is emitted by the sun. This is one of the reasons you body is able to get going in the morning and be productive during the day. We also find it in fluorescent and incandescent bulbs and coming from our electronic devices we look at on a daily basis, sometimes for several hours everyday.

The affects of blue light

When the sun sets, your body is supposed to go through a sleep preparation process. But sometimes you can continue to add blue light through the above other blue light sources, in turn, potentially keeping your body from beginning this process.

Many of our phones and other devices allow us to “turn off” blue light on a schedule each evening or at sunset. I have to say that when I 1st started to do this in the evening I noticed a big difference. I went from being stimulated by my phone in the evening to being kind-of bored with it when the schedule turned on.  Then, I’d relax much better in the evening.

What is too much Blue Light doing to us – what is happening? 

Blue light exposure close to bedtime can disrupt the sleep/wake cycle (circadian rhythm), and affect hormone secretion, nerve signaling (neurotransmission), and the brain’s ability to adapt (plasticity) to changing situations. Excessive blue light can cause sleep and mood disorders and it can even lead to depression.

Blue Light Sources

Digital Eye Strain Symptoms

Our lives are completely surrounded by screens these days. For some of us that work on computers, we spend nearly 9 hours of our day in front of some kind of digital device. All these devices emit blue light, and because our eyes are not protected by overexposure, it makes you more susceptible to digital eye fatigue.

Blue Light Glasses

Blue light-blocking glasses can be a great solution for at least some of your screen time. Blue light-blocking glasses, or just less screen time, has the benefits of alleviating eye strain, minimizing the occurrence of headaches and helping you to get better sleep. Here is a link we found on Amazon for: Blue Light Blocking Glasses. If you use prescription lenses, your optometrist
should offer blue light protection.

PROTECT YOUR EYE: Anti harmful blue light, 100%UV, screen flicker, anti-fatigue, provide all-day protection, without getting that harsh yellow found in other glasses.

You may ask yourself, what has the opposite effects of blue light.  The answer is Red Light.

What is Red light? Red light has a much longer wavelength than blue light and does not affect your circadian rhythm. This was really intriguing to me because I learned it had the power to turn on your natural Melatonin production – that is your natural sleep hormone. Melatonin is an interesting thing because if you start supplementing with it, your body will stop making as much of it yourself, making it even harder to wind down and sleep if you don’t take it.

Red light has a way of talking to your body. It is good for relaxing and improves healing, mood and other areas of mental health. Basically, it helps you prepare for a great rest.

What are the benefit of Red Light and what does it do for us?

The red and near-infrared light photons penetrate into brain cells and spur the mitochondria to produce more ATP. That can mean clearer, sharper thinking without triggering more alertness like blue light.

Red light stimulates cerebral blood flow and increases brain oxygenation thus shortening healing time to muscles and tissues of our body. 

630nm Wavelength (Red Light) – has the ability to penetrate into the skin cells and sebaceous glands (a small gland in the skin which secretes a lubricating oily matter (sebum) to rejuvenate the skin’s tone and texture. While these are used in skincare, beauty care, and treatment of acne, etc.

Red Light Therapy

Red Light that is 630nm wavelength – has an even deeper penetrating power that reaches deeper into the entire range of the skin tissues to promote healing and regeneration based on scientific research. It has the ability to induce an anti-inflammatory effect thus helping in reducing pain and improving deep muscle healing.

We found a red light on Amazon that looks good and I am currently testing it: Red Light Therapy Device

Red light and sleep

The research shows that red light wavelengths stimulate the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps you sleep. Your brain releases more melatonin as darkness falls and tends to release less when you’re exposed to blue light.

Since red light helps with clearer thinking and stimulates melatonin production, this may be a great time for you to meditate, write in a gratitude journal or reflect on the positive outcomes of the day, further improving sleep quality.

I hope this article has been helpful in your day and you’re able to apply this information in your daily life.

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Until next time, Be Well!

Redlight Bluelight

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