I wrote this as a Topic of the Week several years ago, and just realized I never posted it online. So here it is, a little late:
On June 22, 2010, I saw an article in the Plain Dealer that helped explain why computers and TV late at night keeps people up. For years I’ve known that the light will decrease melatonin production which in turn causes difficulty sleeping. Since lack of sleep is one of the major stressors that causes us to lose our alignment, I’ve recommended avoiding computers, TV, and bright lights before bed. Interestingly, this article claims that it is only the blue spectrum of the light that suppresses melatonin.
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland the darker it gets outside. It chemically tells our bodies to wind down and go to sleep. The more (blue) light we are exposed to will keep melatonin from being produced and will make it more difficult for us to wind down. This has become a systemic problem with the advent of electronics and bright lights.
The article talks about a local company called Photonic Developments with an innovative solution to this problem. They have eye glasses that will block out the blue light spectrum. In addition, they sell bulbs (which look like bug lights) that also don’t produce the blue light. (On the GE website, they state that the reason that bug bulbs work, is that flying insects can only see the blue and ultraviolet lights.)
Using the glasses two hours before bedtime, allows the body to produce the melatonin it needs to wind down and go to sleep. While I think that avoiding TV and computers would be the ideal, sometimes it’s hard to do so. This may be another alternative.