October is a wonderful time of year at the beach. The weather is perfect. The water is beautiful. The only possible downside is that the days are getting shorter.
With earlier sunsets, we all find ourselves using artificial light a little more each day. So, now is the time of year that we need to be aware of our exposure to blue light. During daylight hours, exposure to blue light is not much of a concern. But when it comes to the evening, taking in a lot of it can adversely affect your health.
According to Harvard Medical: "Study after study has linked working the night shift and exposure to light at night to several types of cancer (breast, prostate), diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It's not exactly clear why nighttime light exposure seems to be so bad for us. But we do know that exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, and there's some experimental evidence (it's very preliminary) that lower melatonin levels might explain the association with cancer."
What can you do to mitigate the health risks?
- Go to bed earlier. The additional sleep will do you good.
- Use blue blocking glasses. They're not the same as the old blublockers that you used to see on the infomericals. And, besides, you're home in your Hello Kitty jammies. Who cares about fashion?
- Switch your night lights to dim, red lights. Or, don't use night lights at all.