The Effect of Blue Light on Health

How Blue Light Affects Circadian Rhythms and Prevents Seasonal Affective Disorder

If you’re working at a desk and relying on the internet, chances are you spend a lot of time in front of the computer. Your environment, including your lighting, has a big impact on your happiness and productivity.

In the morning and afternoon, its important to have cool white light that’s heavy in the blue spectrum entering your eyes. This is true for everyone. And especially important in the winter months, or if you live somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of natural sunlight, like the UK, Northern Europe and the Pacific Northwest.

According to Dr. Steven Lockley, “Light in the blue spectrum, especially between roughly 450 and 480 nm, has been shown to be uniquely effective at suppressing the secretion of melatonin – the hormone which makes us feel sleepy and regulates a number of biological rhythms and functions essential to our health.”

The blue light, like those emitted from special fluorescent bulbs, will keep you wide awake and productive all day long. Look for light temperatures – it should be stamped on the package – in the 6500K (D65) temperature range with a full color spectrum.

Personally I use Deluxe Happy Lights that I bought at Amazon.com three years ago. I turn them on the moment I walk into my office. They make me feel energized and happy in my work environment all day long.

It also helps to have a blue background color on your computer monitor. Choose a blue in the 450 and 480 nanometer range. The intensity doesn’t matter as much as the hue.

Although blue light is exactly what you need during the day, in the evening it’s unhealthy. It interrupts the sleep cycle, or natural circadian rhythm, by preventing the production of melatonin, which makes us sleepy.

So in the evening, shut off the blue fluorescent light, and switch to yellow LED lighting, so it doesn’t interfere with your normal sleep cycle. You can also try dimming your monitor, switching the background color, or installing software that changes the color of your screen depending on the time of day.

So what does all this have to do with internet marketing? Quite a lot when you think about it.

Productivity depends on how happy you are in your work environment. Give your body and mind the proper lighting it needs. If you do, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your mood and attitude towards work. You’ll work longer without getting tired and feel more energized throughout the day.

There’s also a little trick hidden away in all this. A website with a blue background, especially one with lots of text, will keep your readers wide awake, because of the amount of blue light entering their eyes. Sneaky huh?

60% of people name blue as their favorite color. It’s also the color that wakes us up by blocking sleep hormone production. Put it as the background color on your site, and your readers won’t get tired while reading your content. At least that’s the theory behind all the science. ;-)

References

  1. Happy Light Sunshine Simulator *
  2. Nature of Things Episode on Effects of Light
  3. Plenty of Links and Reading About Light Therapy
  4. Software to Change Monitor Color in Evening
  5. Science and Research for Healthy Sleep

Bottom line, to be instantly productive and happy, forget about getting new software, or another cup of coffee. Get the happy lights or something similar for your mental health. It’s the best thing you can do to improve your attitude, stay happy and be more productive at work.

Michael

 
 
 

* Dynamic Media Corporation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

 
 

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