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Digital Demise

High-Strung from high-energy blue screens? In this technological age, our noses are consistently pressed up against some type of electronic device. Young and old, we have become consumed by the entertainment these devices provide. It’s time we consider the potential damaging effects our obsession will wreak.

Most of us have heard that the blue light that comes from your TV, phone, tablet, and computer produces very high energy that leads to eye fatigue and can eventually lead to loss of visual function. However, new research rolling out clarified that there are many more effects than originally predicted. What you may have not known is that a major effect of blue screen exposure is on the brain’s circadian system (biological clock) which links to external cues like those produced by technology.

Unfortunately, the link is not remotely positive. “Sleep and wakefulness aids have gone global…More than two hours of nighttime exposure to screens can negatively affect sleep onset and duration”, explains Emory University professor and author of Wild Nights, Benjamin Reiss.  Additionally, researchers from the Harvard Medical School explain in the Harvard Health Letter that “Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night.”

Furthermore, a study conducted by researchers at the Harvard Medical School slowly shifted the circadian rhythm schedule of ten participants. Their results showed that the participants began experiencing pre-diabetic states; this meant they had increased blood sugar levels and decreased levels of leptin (hormones that help you feel full). Awed by their own observations, they concluded that “[Blue-screens] may contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.”

Our bodies were not designed to withstand this much exposure to technology. Be advised, be warned, be alert: your use of technological devices does not come cost free. You are paying a very high price every moment you remain glued to your digital device.

More information:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side

Psychology Today April 2017

 

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