HEALTH TIPS

How Does Artificial Light Affect You?


Artificial lights in homes, offices, schools and other places help us see what we do. They are essentials in areas where natural light is not enough or completely available, including at night. Did you know that the artificial light you are counting on can have an effect on your health as well as mood?

Both natural and artificial light offer some benefits. For instance, you need the right amount of sunlight to get your supply of vitamin D, and to help lift your mood — too little of it can be partly blamed for the likes of osteoporosis and depression, and too much of it can leave you with both premature aging signs and cancer of the skin. The same goes true for artificial light — you need just the right amount of it to function.

High Levels of It Necessary During the Day

During the day, whether at home or in the office, you need ample artificial light especially because you cannot depend on natural light alone while indoors. Just imagine checking out the newspaper, whipping up a casserole or proofreading printed office documents without enough artificial light!

Artificial light is indispensible in this day and age, especially given the city living and working situations we all have to put up with. However, experts say that being exposed to artificial light during the day, particularly in excessive amounts, can have some sort of negative effects to your health, too.

Potential Negatives of Artificial Light

Take for example fluorescent lights which tend to flicker although you may not be aware of it. The said flickering, while most people are unconscious of it, can cause eye strain and headaches. For some people, it is enough to trigger migraine and anxiety. Some studies suggest that exposure to fluorescent light may also put you at risk of some health dangers such as a weak immune system, hormonal disruption, and even cancer and tumor formation.

It’s not just florescent light that you have to watch out for, but also blue light emitted by electronics. Your TV set emits it, as well as your computer screen. It’s also being given off by your digital clock and smart phone!

Blue Light and the Body Clock

So what’s bad about blue light? Well, it’s not really that detrimental for your health until it’s time for your body to receive less light during the day. To have a better understanding of it, we have to take your body clock into the scene. Referred to as the circadian rhythm or biological clock, your body clock is the one that tells your body when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake. It’s important to note that the body clock can be affected by light, and this is when the negative effects of blue light used by electronics steps into the picture.

Sleep Disruption and Its Bad Health Effects

In bed, do you watch the TV or access your various social media accounts on your smart phone? That nightly routine of yours can actually wreak havoc to your sleeping habits, which in turn can affect your mind and body in an assortment of ways — from depression, weight gain to heart disease!

Here’s what makes blue light bad for you: nighttime exposure to it can disrupt your body clock. You see, as the day progresses, your body needs less and less light. You need lots of it in the earlier part of the day for alertness and productivity, and lesser and lesser of it in the later part of the day to prepare your body for sleep, which is definitely important as it’s the time for having your mind and body repaired intensively.

In other words, exposure to blue light at night may keep you from having a good night’s sleep. It’s exactly for this reason why experts strongly advise the public against the use of electronics most especially in the bedroom.