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Blue Light and Insomnia


According to a 2015 Harvard study, our screens’ (phones, tablets, and t.v.’s) melatonin-inhibiting blue light delays sleep latency by an average of 10 minutes.

Even if you are prone to falling asleep in front of a screen, that can be a problem too. Light from your t.v. or computer can still filter through your eyelids, so your brain still functions as though you’re being exposed to light. The result is that you may experience a more fragmented sleep and periods during rest hours when your heart rate increases and your brain waves speed up.

One good measure toward healthy sleep hygiene is to avoid all screens for at least an hour before turning in. This is fine advice but there are a number of reasons why a person may not be able to do this, such as having to put in long work hours or just wanting to catch up on the latest episode of their favourite show or maybe they are engaged in an important text conversation on their phone. Whatever the reason, sometimes your screen time may intrude into your sleep time and inhibit your production of melatonin, a sleep inducing hormone.

Luckily, there are ways to mitigate this form of sleep disruption:

  1. Eyewear, such as Spektrum/Prospek eyeglasses, available at Pharmasave Summerland, are designed to block blue light from devices such as computers, tablets, phones, and t.v.’s. Reducing exposure to this range of the light spectrum can prevent disruption of melatonin production, as well as reduce eyestrain, and therefore reduce disruption in sleep patterns and improve eye health.
  2. Melatonin supplements, also available at Pharmasave Summerland, can be a temporary fix when you are experiencing an interruption in your own natural production of melatonin. Melatonin supplements are available as sublingual tablets, dual release caplets, and sprays. The supplements are especially useful for resetting your sleep rhythm when you experience a time change (e.g: daylight savings, travel to another time zone, changing work shifts).

As long as exposure to blue light emitting screens are a part of life, the possibility of sleep disruption exists. Pharmasave Summerland can help you reduce the risk.

Speak to the Live Well Team at Pharmasave Summerland about these and other ways you can improve your sleep hygiene.


Dan Cassidy, Nutritional Product Advisor