Most of us don’t think how new it is for humans to have artificial light at night other than a flame. But, with a team of researchers, Edison only invented the first working light bulb in 1879.*
Consider this. In Canada, the average life expectancy is 81.24 and 1879 is 137 years ago. Meaning?
City dwelling Canadians have only had lighted nights for two lifetimes.
Yet we think it’s perfectly normal to watch movies on our phones in bed with the lights out. But it isn’t! The following comes from a Harvard Medical School article.**
Unnatural light affects our ability to sleep. Which can increase our chances of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, all while threatening our mental health.
Light is a spectrum and there are different types. Worst of all, by far, are blue light-waves, which emanate from screens and fluorescent lights. More than any other kind, blue light suppresses our bodies’ ability to produce melatonin.
Blue light affects our circadian rhythm, which means our ability to sleep.
Cheaper and longer lasting fluorescent and LED lights are allegedly environmentally superior because they last longer and burn far less energy. Yet the blue light they emit is damaging our health. One solution, if you can, is to switch your phone’s setting to warmer light at night and buy fluorescent bulbs with a warm-coloured filter.
If you work at night or use a lot of electronic devices, another solution is to purchase a pair of glasses designed to block out blue light.
If you don’t work at night, another, simpler and cheaper, solution is to turn off the screens a few hours before going to bed.
Get outside during the day.
Expose yourself to sunlight whenever you can. Wear sunglasses and skin protection but let yourself soak up plenty of sunshine. It improves your health and mood.
Maybe it sounds like something your granny would say, but she probably knew people who’d been around before 1879. It wasn’t that long ago.
* Interestingly, George Eastman invented film six years later, making the first selfie possible within a decade of the first the light bulb.