Nurses, what's the one factor that has a dramatic impact on your sleep quality and health that doesn't get NEARLY enough attention?
In a nutshell...
Specifically, artificial blue light from artificial lights and phone screens.
Studies have shown that artificial blue light exposure has been shown to cause:
- Reduced melatonin production, leading to worse sleep at night (a huge, huge problem!)
- Eyestrain, dry eyes, and even long term vision damage!
- Poor mood
- Decreased immune function
- And a lot more.
Doesn't sound good, right?
Well, don't just take it from us.
This has been a hot issue that has been proven by places like:
And a lot more!
It's very important to note that natural blue light from the sun is not the issue. Blue light is naturally meant to help regulate our sleep patterns.
Under natural circumstances, this is a good thing because when the sun goes down, we naturally feel more tired.
The real problem is the artificial blue light in lights and phone screens! That's right - it's one of the ways the tech era is affecting our bodies!
So in a time where, as nurses, we're asked to work harder than ever, and where we're surrounded by electronic devices and artificial lights, the blue light issue is critically important to understand.
After all, we're healthcare professionals, and we NEED to know what health issues are affecting us so we can take better care of ourselves and our patients!
So let's cut to the chase!
Here are a few important ways to combat artificial blue light:
1. Take a low dose of melatonin before bed, which can be found over the counter at any drug store. Please ask your doctor if you have any questions about melatonin.
2. Install apps for your phone and computer like Twilight and f.lux, or use your in-phone settings (available on both Androids and iPhones) to reduce blue light before bed. The more orange your screen looks, the better!
3. If at all possible, avoid being in an artificially lit room a few hours before bed. This may be easier said than done if you have work that day, but if you're home you should have good control over your environment!
4. Wear a pair of blue light filtering glasses while charting and a few hours before bed, like we sell. This can dramatically reduce headaches, eyestrain, dry eyes, and improve sleep quality.
We've sold over 15,000 pairs of our pairs of blue light filtering glasses!
And as our reviews show, they've helped many of our nurses alleviate eyestrain, headaches, dry eye and get better sleep after their shifts!
Remember - the better you help yourself, the better you can help everyone else in life, including your spouse, kids, patients, parents, and anyone else.
If you found this post helpful, please share it with anyone you know, nurse or not!
It's our duty as nurses to take better care of ourselves and educate our profession on any health issues that affect all of us!
Lastly, please note that this article is for informational purposes only. If you have any personal health questions, please consult a doctor who is informed on the blue light issue!