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How Blue Light Can Affect Your Mental Health

Blue light is all around us. From our computers, TVs, and smartphones to the sun, it’s hard to escape its presence. While blue light can be beneficial in small amounts, too much of it can negatively impact your mental health. Let’s explore how blue light affects your mental health and how you can reduce your exposure to it. Depression treatment is also something to consider, depending on how you’re being affected.

What Is Blue Light?

Blue light, emitted from electronic devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets, and TVs, has gained attention for its potential health effects. It disrupts our sleep cycle by suppressing melatonin production, leading to difficulties falling asleep and getting restful sleep.

Excessive exposure at night causes eye strain, headaches, and fatigue, hampering concentration and daily tasks. Limiting blue light exposure, especially at night, promotes better sleep, alleviates eye strain, and maintains overall health in our technology-driven world.

What Does Blue Light Do For Mental Health?

Excessive exposure to blue light can be harmful to our mental health. The increased energy from blue light can cause:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings

Studies have also shown that too much screen time may increase the risk of developing depression or anxiety-related disorders. Below are some ways blue light affects mental health:

The Link between Light and Mood

Studies have found a link between light exposure and emotional well-being. Too much blue light can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which is linked to how you feel emotionally. This disruption can result in feelings of depression, irritability, and fatigue. It can also cause:

Eye Strain

Prolonged exposure to blue light can cause eye strain and headaches. Over time, this can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety. Studies have also found that blue light exposure can cause damage to the retina, which can result in vision problems.

Sleep Issues

As mentioned earlier, blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycle. Too much exposure to blue light at night can lead to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. This can result in a lack of energy the next day, leading to increased stress and anxiety.

Ways to Reduce Blue Light Exposure

Limiting your exposure to blue light is essential for maintaining your mental health. Here are some ways you can reduce your exposure:

Get Blue Light-Blocking Glasses

Blue light-blocking glasses are a great way to reduce your blue light exposure without sacrificing the use of digital devices. Look for lenses that filter out 95% or more of blue light in the 380–450 nm range.

Dim Your Screen and Increase Text Size

Reducing the brightness and increasing the text size on your devices can help decrease blue light exposure.

Install a Blue Light Filter

Many new devices come with built-in blue light filters that can be adjusted to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from your device screens. If your device doesn’t have this feature, you can download a blue light filter app like f.lux or Night Shift for Apple products.

Reduce Daytime Exposure

Try to limit your digital device use during the day and opt for activities that don’t require screens. Take a break from your devices during the day to rest your eyes and mind.

Follow the 20/20/20 Rule

Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and focus on something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This helps to reduce eye strain and blue light exposure.

Use Warm Lighting

If possible, keep the lights in your home or workspace a bit warmer — that is, use more yellow-toned bulbs instead of white-toned ones. This will help minimize the amount of blue light you are exposed to in the evening.

Stay Active

Exercise, yoga, and mindfulness activities are great ways to reduce stress and relax during the day without relying on digital devices. Take some time to focus on yourself by staying active outside or in your home.

Get Checked Up

If you’re still struggling with your blue light exposure, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor or optometrist. They can help you identify any underlying medical issues that might be causing your eye strain and work with you to develop an individualized plan for reducing blue light exposure.

Blue Light Exposure and the Need For Depression Treatment

Blue light exposure is an important issue to consider when it comes to our mental health. Too much screen time can negatively impact our emotional well-being, leading to depression, anxiety, and sleep problems. Fortunately, we can reduce blue light exposure and maintain our mental health in several ways.

If you are concerned about potential side effects of blue light exposure, know that depression treatment can make a difference. At Harmony, we provide a variety of evidence-based treatments to help those struggling with depression and other mental health issues.

Get the help you need today from Harmony. For new clients, please click here to schedule an appointment. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.