006: Impact of Blue Light on Sleep

006: Impact of Blue Light on Sleep

Blue light exposure before bed can interfere with your sleep quality. Discover how to protect your sleep with these simple strategies in this podcast episode 6.


Podcast Description

Welcome to the Work Hard Sleep Well Podcast with Kris Nowak, where we explore the million dollar question - how can we optimize our sleep for maximum performance, productivity, and success in our busy lives as entrepreneurs and working professionals? Join me as I document my journey of discovery in real time and share practical tips and tricks from successful entrepreneurs, working professionals and sleep doctors to help you achieve the best sleep possible.

As we explore different sleeping schedules, proven tricks, and changing relationships with sleep over time, this podcast is tailored for entrepreneurs and working professionals who want to improve their sleep quality, increase productivity, and perform at their best. We understand that you have a lot on your plate, and our aim is to help you manage stress and achieve a better work-life balance.

Through interviews with successful entrepreneurs and sleep experts, we provide unique insights and perspectives on sleep and rest, with a focus on productivity and performance. You can look forward to hearing from a diverse range of guests and answering intriguing questions that you won't find elsewhere. Join us on this journey to discover the secrets to unlocking your true potential through restful sleep.

Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Work Hard Sleep Well Podcast with Kris Nowak, where we explore the million dollar question - how can we optimize our sleep for maximum performance, productivity, and success in our busy lives as entrepreneurs and working professionals? Join me as I document my journey of discovery in real time and share practical tips and tricks from successful entrepreneurs, working professionals and sleep doctors to help you achieve the best sleep possible.

Welcome to the episode six, impact of blue light on sleep. My name is Kris Nowak, I'm the host of Work Hard Sleep Well podcast. And so right off the bat, I just wanted to mention something. So obviously I'm not a doctor, I'm an entrepreneur. And so everything I share about sleep is from a practical perspective.

It's based on the research that I've done, based on the experiences I've accumulated in my life and career up to this point. So I just wanted to share this. So this podcast is actually focused more on practical aspects of sleep optimization and practical effects rather than getting into very detailed depth of what happens when and why, because there's a lot of different podcasts and doctors talking about it.

like Andrew Huberman, Matthew Walker as well, if you're really interested into learning about all of that, that's great, but that's really not what this podcast is about. It's more like practical perspective. Okay, so with that being said, today I'm going to talk about what the blue light is to start with, why it's good, why it's bad, what studies say about impact of blue light on sleep, and I'll discuss strategies to mitigate the negative effects.

associated with blue light. I'll also share a case study, the before and after understanding impact of blue light on sleep. And at the end, I will share a call to action. Okay, so we live in such an amazing day and age today. It's literally, there's never been a time like this before. You know, if you really have a desire, you can literally build a successful business, if that's what you want. We have...

access to all the technology and algorithms and the apps, everything is out there for the taking. You know, the possibilities are literally endless. And we really get to walk around every day with a smartphone in our pockets or laptop, you know, and it has the smartphone itself has more computing power than computers that took man to the moon not so long ago. And this is our reality. This is the reality we live in right now.

And sadly, I think a lot of people are actually not taking advantage of it. But to those that are taking advantage of it, you know, it's, we're so blessed due to live in today's day and age. It's there's never been a time like this before this entrepreneur, um, like journey, everybody can like actually like undertake. It's absolutely amazing. But with that being said, this technology, it actually comes with some drawbacks. Right. So I wanted to tell a story. So not so long ago, actually.

uh, before I actually became so aware of my sleep and the impact it has on my productivity and performance, I see part of my wind down routine, and I wouldn't really think about this a whole lot, but I see part of my one that wind down routine, I would actually scroll through my phone websites, social media content, YouTube, that sort of thing before I go to sleep. And you know, probably about like year and a half ago, two years ago, I actually

Auraring, which is a sleep tracking device. Um, and so I use it to actually track like different stages of my sleep, right? Like the light stage and the deep stage and the Nuran, uh, for the most part, it shows you these like three stages. It classifies it as that. And so I've realized, and I also had a feeling about this even before I started looking at the data, but I literally realized, experimented myself first, firsthand.

that when I actually scroll through social media and just like on my phone with screen so close to my face, typically it's either like this far or like you get even like closer, it had a negative impact on the quality of the sleep that I was getting. Even if I managed to not have a problem to fall asleep at night and I didn't wake up through the night, then in the morning when I woke up,

I didn't feel nearly as rejuvenated, energetic. I just didn't feel as good. And so I connected it. So literally like exposing myself to blue light, it has decreased the quantity of deep sleep I was getting, the quantity and quality. So I just wanted to point this out. I noticed this myself, and then I started like looking into it and reading it and into it and like, yeah, sure enough, the effect that

blue light has on sleep is it has a huge impact. And we're going to talk about this today. Okay, so first of all, so what is blue light? So blue light refers to a specific range of light wavelength within the visible light spectrum. So it has a relatively short wavelength and high energy, which is why it appears blue in color. And it can be found naturally occurring in the sun.

and also emitted by electronic devices of all the sorts. So not all blue light is actually bad for your sleep because like I mentioned, it naturally occurs in the sun. And so if you actually get blue light exposure in the morning from the sun, after waking up, it really helps to regulate your sleep cycle. It wakes you up in the morning, gives you energy. It really sets you up for like an amazing day. Just getting like natural sun exposure in the morning. It's that simple, it's amazing.

The problem starts with when we actually use blue light in the evening, right? And it can come from various electronic devices like monitors, TVs, lamps of all sorts, mobile devices, you know, anything electronic that emits blue light in the evening, that's when the problem actually starts. And blue light is especially bad for sleep in the evening for a few reasons. So studies found

that exposure to blue light before bed can disrupt sleep and increase risk of depression. You know, so overall, if you actually connect it, and it's been also proven that not sleeping well in terms of quantity and quality is being linked to increased depression and anxiety. Right? And so another thing, so another study, it found that exposure to blue light in the evening

it will suppress the production and circulation of melatonin in your body, which is a naturally occurring sleep hormone responsible for helping you sleep every night. So these two are very serious, right? Another thing is, so in the evening, in the evening time, when your eyes are tired, after, you know, being awake for the entire day, they're much more sensitive to blue light. And that's why it's especially

It has especially negative impact to your sleep and to your eyes, because in the evening your eyes are very tired already. So that's something to keep in mind. So, you know, when you consider all of these things, you know, when you view blue light in the evening, your body basically thinks that it's viewing sun, because not so long ago before we actually had electricity, which actually hasn't even been around.

that long considering like how old the human species are, the only way to get blue light was basically to get it from sun. And then at night, it would be like pitch dark. But now, so we have access to all of these like electronic devices and they emit blue light. So if we don't control it, if we don't manage it properly, then our bodies basically think that it's like sun and it's totally dysregulating your sleep cycle. It has...

a negative impact on your health. Like I mentioned, it causes depression and anxiety, definitely affects your motivation and endurance, decreases your performance and productivity, and the list goes on and on and on. There's literally, at this point, with all the research and progress that's been done about studies for sleep, they literally are wondering if there's a single thing, like a single system or process in your body that doesn't get affected when you sleep well.

So it's not even a matter of like, what gets better when you sleep. It's they literally are wondering at this point, if there's like a single thing that doesn't get affected when you sleep. Okay. So what can we actually do in terms of mitigating negative effects of blue light? So of course, like is one thing is to avoid exposure to blue light in the evening. Altogether general rule of thumb is to avoid bright lights altogether between 10 PM and 4 AM. So that goes to like TV, mobile devices.

bright lamps and so on. Another thing is to structure your evening routine to stop using your mobile device at least one hour before bed. But if you can make longer than an hour, let's say two hours, they'll be even better. Instead of like scrolling out your phone, just have a hot bath, read a book, have some light stretching, some meditation, wind yourself down, ground yourself and set yourself up for an amazing sleep.

Another thing is, so in the evenings, let's say past 8 p.m., you could use a combination of blue light blocking glasses along with night mode on your devices, which changes the blue light. It's supposed to change that blue light that's being emitted to like an orange light sort of thing, right? And so they're still doing like a lot of research whether it's like the night mode actually works as good as they think it does, but this help can actually help you mitigate.

the negative effects of blue light on your sleep. Something to keep in mind, like so the blue light blocking glasses, they will provide you some relief, but they will not totally block like entire blue light that's being emitted, especially when your screens are super bright. So that's something to keep in mind. So they can help you mitigate the negative results, but they won't totally block like all the negative effects.

Okay, so a case study, so there are actually many parts to optimizing your sleep, but one of them is having a solid wind down routine, and part of which, that solid wind down routine is actually avoiding blue light exposure before bed. And so like I mentioned earlier today, the story that I shared, so I was actually, I used to just scroll on my phone before I would, like during the wind down time,

before I go to sleep and just really like not thinking about it, not being conscious of it, just kind of being mindless about it. And I realized it has a negative impact on my sleep quality, on the quantity and quality of the deep sleep I was getting according to a sleep tracker that I use. But so now I actually implemented a much different mindset and approach to it because I actually been like extremely interested in optimizing sleep.

for maximum performance and productivity. So, you know, that mindset that I kind of come from at this point is this, like imagine two scenarios. So like, first one is you come from a perspective that you're optimizing your sleep for maximum performance and productivity. So you can feel literally the best you can feel. And you wake up in the morning before your alarm, 15 minutes before your alarm naturally, because your sleep cycle is...

It's really like anchored, it's optimized. Like you just feel amazing. You feel rejuvenated, full of energy. You just woke up, you're ready to tackle day. You literally jump out of bed because like, no, you can't wait for it. You can't wait for your day to start. So compare that with, you know, when you actually deregulate your sleep cycle and then like you wake up in the morning, like you're tired, like you were sleeping. Even sometimes you can sleep enough hours, but the quality is not there because you're not doing certain things that

help you achieve that quality sleep. And then now you still have everything to do. You still have your businesses to run. You still have your sports to practice, everything to accomplish, but you don't feel nearly the same compared to how you could feel. It's now you have this benchmark, how amazing you could actually feel when you sleep well, right? So here's the question. So is that one hour or two hours at the end of the day basically a mindless scrolling of content that's stimulating you?

that's emitting blue light, that's going into your eyes when they're like super sensitive. Is that really worth it to sacrifice your sleep and wellbeing and health and productivity, to actually not optimize your sleep? I don't think it's worth it at all. And if you compound it over days, weeks, months and years, that could literally be the difference between you becoming the best version of yourself and you achieving your goals.

Literally something as well, it's simple, but it's not easy. Something as simple as optimizing your sleep could make the difference. So it's literally that one or two hours worth, you know, scrolling before you go to bed, is it worth it to, to, to reach your goals and to optimize your sleep? You gotta, you gotta answer this question yourself. But to me, when I realized this, I realized like it's absolutely not worth it. Like it's actually, it's not even comparable. Like the way I feel if I can wake up.

feeling amazing and ready to tackle the day or just struggle to get out of bed, like it's not even comparable.

Okay, so with that being said, you know, some actions that you can take, you got to definitely take care, take control of your wind down routine and mitigate the effects that blue light has on your sleep. You know, why don't you make blue light work for you so it can help you optimize your sleep versus being a slave to it and let it negatively impact your sleep, health, wellbeing, and so on.

And you know, so right now, and we hear about this, you know, so many people, like young and old, of all sorts, like so many people struggle with like anxiety and depression nowadays. And using technology, without being aware of its drawbacks, advantages and disadvantages, it can actually amplify that feeling of anxiety and depression.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Like you literally can choose to change it and be on top of it, like stay in control of it and make it work for you to your benefit rather than just, just being like complacent and being enslaved to the condition that it creates for you. So that's it. And then I also wanted to add, so if you want to learn more about optimizing your sleep, I've created a guide to optimizing your sleep for maximum productivity to help you sleep better. So you can tackle your day and you can kill it.

You can go to sleeprlo.com and if you click on the envelope in the header, you can grab it there for free. Okay, so that's it for today. I'll see you in the next episode. Bye now.

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