There are reasons why it is important to use the kindle for better eye and general health. There are so many devices out there that one can use to read books. In one of my recent posts I wrote why the kindle is best for the eyes. At the end of the day, we like to look at the science before making any claims. Well, there are more and more studies that shows that reading the right device at night will prevent one from having health challenges, especially regarding the eyes.
Although there are other factors that contribute to eye and overall health challenges, staring at bright lights on iPhones and tablets play a role in our overall well-being according clinical psychologist and sleep therapist, Dr. Michael J. Breus. Studies have shown that all these artificial lights can result in disruptions of the circadian rhythm. (Cicadian means, “Recurring naturally on a twenty-four-hour cycle, even in the absence of light fluctuations”)
According to the experts, there’s a lot of evidence that blue light, emitted by smartphones, tablets, laptops, and many other electronic devices, is impacting on the quantity and quality of the sleep we are getting. Darkness is a natural cue to our bodies that it’s time for sleep.
It is said that blue is the color between violet and green on the optical spectrum of visible light. Human eyes perceive blue when observing light with a wavelength between 450 and 495 nanometers. (A nanometer is a unit of spatial measurement that is one billionth of a meter) Blues with a higher frequency and thus a shorter wavelength gradually look more violet, while those with a lower frequency and a longer wavelength gradually appear greener. Pure blue, in the middle, has a wavelength of 470 nanometers.
What’s the problem with Blue light?
Blue light tells our brain that it isn’t time to sleep. According to the experts: “There are about 30,000 cells inside your eye that are reactive to the wavelength of light which would be considered blue,” explains clinical psychologist and sleep therapist, Dr. Michael J. Breus. “Blue runs in about the 460 nanometer range, in terms of the spectrum of light. That particular spectrum of light hits these cells and makes them send a signal to an area of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus and tells it to turn off melatonin production. Melatonin is the key that starts the engine for sleep.” What we are doing by reading using bright screens at night is that we are circumventing this process. According to an expert, Burkhart K, Phelps JR.:
“All light is not equal: blue wavelengths are the most potent portion of the visible electromagnetic spectrum for circadian regulation. Therefore, blocking blue light could create a form of physiologic darkness. Because the timing and quantity of light and darkness both affect sleep, evening use of amber lenses to block blue light might affect sleep quality. Mood is also affected by light and sleep; therefore, mood might be affected by blue light blockade. In this study, 20 adult volunteers were randomized to wear either blue-blocking (amber) or yellow-tinted (blocking ultraviolet only) safety glasses for 3 h prior to sleep.”
At The New York Blue Light Symposium convened in New York from June 26-27, 2015, it outlined three measures to counter consequences of artificial illumination faced by the global community. They were:
– MEASUREMENT: Scientifically prove the effects of blue light on human health through coordination with global researchers.
– MANAGEMENT: Discuss blue light’s role in daily life and how to better manage consumption.
– EDUCATION: Educate and spread understanding about blue light’s place in society.
It is hoped that this article will play a role in educating the public about the effects of blue light and how to counteract it. It is hoped that we will recognize the consequences of exposure to artificial blue light at night and that we will cut out exposure to blue light before going to bed. (According to the experts, the ideal is 2 hours) They do say that since this is difficult to do in modern society, use of protective glasses is recommended to minimize exposure to blue light at night. Other steps includes, beyond turning off all the light sources, use special filters, glasses, light bulbs, and even special software.
What to do at night when we want to read and still maintain good eye and general health?
So the question is what to do at night when we want to read that will help us maintain good eye and general health. Well, Amazon is bringing a brand new feature called Blue Shade — which alters display color and brightness for optimal nighttime reading — to its line of Fire tablets that will help in this regard.
“Blue Shade uses specialized filters to limit exposure to blue light. It also offers warm color filters and the ability to lower the display brightness to an ultra-low level for comfortable nighttime reading—even in a dark room,” Amazon said in an emailed statement. “Customers can also fine-tune the color settings to their personal preference, with the device intelligently adjusting the color filtering so that at any color or brightness, the blue wavelength light is always suppressed.”
So if you are an avid reader, and you love reading at night, and you are concerned about the health of your eye and general health, know that the bright light emitting from your device can, over a long period of time, will not contribute to healthy eyes and general health.
If you would like to leave your personal review or experience of the Kindle Fire or you have any questions, please do leave them below. I would love to hear your feedback!