In the modern era, smartphones have become an inevitable part of our daily routines, and this would not be so bad if we didn’t become so dependent on these devices.
However, we spend most of our free time staring at the screen, checking for new messages, the weather forecast, news, and notifications. The radiation due to the exposure to cell phones leads to serious health risks, especially at night, as a result of the “blue light” they emit.
“Blue light is part of the full light spectrum, which means we’re exposed to it by the sun every day. However, nighttime exposure to that light, which is emitted at high levels by smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other LED screens, may be damaging your vision. It also suppresses production of the hormone melatonin, which throws off your body’s natural sleep cues.”
Here are three main issues caused by the nighttime use of smartphones:
1. Sleep Loss
The blue light disrupts the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep, and thus leads to insomnia and poor sleeping patterns. According to the author of a recent study which showed that the use of these devices at night reduces the quality of sleep, Dr. Gregory Marcus, who is also an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco,
“When we looked at smartphone use around the time when participants reported they went to bed, more smartphone use around that time, in particular, was associated with a longer time to fall asleep and worse sleep quality during the night.”
This, in turn, contributes to weight gain, aged skin, poor memory, heart disease and problems, depression, slow response time, and much more.
2. Increased Cancer Risk
Increased light at night has been found to contribute to the increased risk of cancer, especially breast and prostate cancer since melatonin acts as antioxidants and is vital in the natural fight of the body against this deadly disease.
3. Eye Damage
“Blue light” exposure at night damages the retina and leads to macular degeneration, which is the loss of central vision or the ability to see right in front of you. This habit might also cause the development of cataracts.
Furthermore, according to Logan Block, director of Content at Sleepopolis.com: “Several other strategies may also help combat the deleterious effects of blue light. For example:
- If you work at a computer, it’s a good idea to look away from the screen for at least 20 seconds approximately every 20 minutes.
- Some people report benefits from using blue light blocking apps or blue light blocking glasses at night and/or while using digital devices.
- Expose yourself to plenty of natural light during the day. This helps reinforce your body’s natural circadian rhythms, which makes it easier to fall and stay asleep at night. But once dusk sets in, it’s a good idea to limit the time you spend around these potentially harmful wavelengths. “