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Blue Light: Here’s How Those Zoom Meetings Are Ageing You

Posted on 25 May 2020

Blue Light: Here’s How Those Zoom Meetings Are Aging You

It is thought that sleep is essential for the consolidation of memories formed during the day, and also potentially improves the clearance of harmful proteins from the brain. Duration and quality of sleep decrease with age, though it is debated to what extent this is a cause or a consequence of ageing.

Exposure to blue light, particularly in the later hours of the day, can disrupt the sleep cycle (circadian rhythm) and impair sleep quality, which has a variety of negative health impacts. Furthermore, some studies suggest that blue light has harmful effects for both the eyes and the skin, though research concerning the latter is somewhat lacking.

We all have a circadian rhythm, which is a system in the body that operates our sleep-wake cycle. Our circadian rhythm is linked to light exposure and this is why it’s not always advisable to go to bed with your phone. Doing so may disrupt your circadian rhythm, which in turn disrupts your sleep patterns.

What’s more, research has also suggested that a disrupted circadian rhythm can also increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Moreover, one study found a strong link between high light exposure at night and lower levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) production.

Blue light may trigger the skin to produce excessive melanin and this can result in discoloration, dullness, and uneven skin tone.

A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology looked at 22 participants with a wide range of skin tones. The researchers found that the damaging effects of blue light were more pronounced in participants with darker skin tones. In fact, participants with lighter skin tones had a 4.3% increase in pigmentation damage whereas participants with darker skin tones experienced an increase of 18.1%.

Important finding may help halt age-related macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and, according to the University of Toledo, blue light may increase the risk for macular degeneration.

It’s no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye’s retina,” said Ajith Karunarathne, PhD, assistant professor at the university’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. According to the professor and his team, while they caution the public from believing that blue light may cause blindness, blue light has been found to damage retinal cells.

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