A path to a better sleep schedule: Sleep deprivation and blue lights

Most people who sit in front of the computer all day suffer from insomnia.

Most people who sit in front of the computer all day suffer from insomnia.

Sleep is an extended period of night when humans have their well-needed rest. Usually, the needed resting period decreases with age, lowering to 4 hours of sleep at night for adults. This number, though, is the bare minimum to survive, and the optimal amount of sleep for adolescents and adults is between 7-9 hours. This amount of sleep is not necessary for survival but is necessary to wake up refreshed and ready to seize the day. However, many people are incapable of achieving the long sleep goal, because of reasons they have not identified yet.

It is common for people to toss and turn uncomfortably in bed when trying to fall asleep, so it seems much simpler to wake up refreshed after just 4-6 hours of sleep. It is easy to get up after a short period of sleep because it is likely that deep sleep has not even been reached yet, and the brain was slowly awakened by the frequent opening of the eyes and exposure to light.

Usually, the go-to solution for this problem for most people is to ingest sleeping pills, but this can only serve as a short-term solution. This is because sleeping pills are a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is the hormone that the brain produces to signal that it is time to sleep, meaning that melatonin is a drug that the human body can get used to. Eventually, this will lead to excessive melatonin consumption and will not be a viable solution.

So what is the widespread cause of insomnia? The culprit is artificial light. Specifically, LCD-based computer screens. They are harmful to the quality of sleep because the emitted blue light from these screens suppresses the brain’s production of melatonin. Other sources of light, such as lamps, are also responsible for causing short or long-term insomnia, but the main issue is the massive amount of blue light that comes from LCD screens.

And even if the LCD screens were replaced by a screen with some type of eye-friendly technology, such as LG OLED or Apple True Tone, the reduced amount of blue light emitted would still be a threat to healthy sleep. According to LG, the biggest OLED display manufacturer, the blue light emission is decreased by only half, meaning that an OLED TV is still completely capable of disrupting sleep.    

The only real solution is to start putting away the phone at least 1 hour before bedtime. This removes the main source of blue light away from the eyes and allows the brain’s dopamine production to not be slowed; ensuring a night of healthy sleep. Other sources of artificial light though, such as lamps, are not recommended either. So the optimal pre-sleep situation is to be in a room that is dimly lit with candles so that the brain can produce a substantial amount of melatonin and go to sleep.

But blue light is not the main issue. Sleep is when the brain can relax and the only brain activity performed is the projection of dreams in deep sleep. But before deep sleep can be achieved, the brain must not be stimulated in any way and must remain in a state of minimal activity. This is usually disrupted by thinking.

It sounds ridiculous, but to sleep even better, the brain’s thoughts have to be deactivated. This part of sleep perfection is difficult for most people because usually people think about their chaotic lives and bad situations before deep sleep because there is nothing else to do. The only way to stop this is to do something to improve the mental state of a person, such as therapy or meditation.

Because sleep is greatly impacted by not just bad habits, but human psychology as well. A person who wants good rest needs to give their mind good rest. Because sleep is vital to the body and mind, it is recommended that people should simply put their phone down, forget about everything that is going on in their lives, and get a good night’s sleep to ensure that they have sufficient energy to tackle the problems that they will encounter tomorrow.