Most of us are attached to our phones at the hip. From the time you open your eyes in the morning to the time you sleep, your thumbs keep scrolling and your eyes stay glued to the screen. After all, the time before you go to sleep is the best time to scroll through your social media feed or get a head start on checking your work email.
However, health experts and studies reveal that what seems like a perfectly innocent habit may be doing your health serious harm. Although you may think that checking your messages and scrolling through your Instagram account for memes may help you fall asleep faster, using your phone at night in your bed at night only results in negatively affecting your vision and overall eye health.
The blue light that the mobile phone emits is sharp during the night. It does not just affect your vision but also the production of melatonin hormone, which is responsible for sleep. Before you climb into your bed tonight with your phone, consider these reasons why you should leave your phone in the other room.
1. Eye Damage
“Blue light” exposure at night has been shown to cause damage to the retina and macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is the loss of central vision or the ability to see what is right in front of you.
Cataract development may also be linked to blue light exposure. One doctor has come across 35-year-old with cloudy, cataract-affected eyes similar to 75-year-olds. The doctor believes smartphone use is the root of the problem, but more research needs to be done.
2. Affects Sleep Duration
The blue light emitted by mobile phones affects the production of melatonin. Melatonin is one of the hormones that helps one to sleep and regulates the sleep cycle. Regular use of the mobile phone at night before going to sleep can lead to sleep deprivation as your mind may be overly excited or activated. Apart from that, the compulsive desire to check your phone and scrolling and refreshing can lead to a delay in bedtime and reduce your total sleep time.
3. Higher Risk of C-a-n-c-e-r
Increased light at night and resulting sleep problems have been linked to a higher rate of c-a-n-c-e-r. This is especially true for breast and prostate c-a-n-c-e-r. Melatonin, suppressed by “blue light,” is also an antioxidant and has been shown to be essential in the body’s natural fight against c-a-n-c-e-r.
Basically, melatonin helps the body fight c-a-n-c-e-r and “blue light” decreases this production. A one-time disruption would not be a serious issue, but there are some people who use their phones for hours at night before going to bed. They do this everyday of the year. Overtime, this begins to add up and create the problems listed above.
4. Damages The Retina
The blue light emitted by the mobile phone, more specifically the smartphones have the shortest wavelength that flickers more. This affects the vision and over a long period, it can even damage the retina. According to the American Macular Degeneration Association, the blue light emitted from the phones cause damage to the retinas, causing a transient/reversible vision problem.
5. Increased Risk Of Depression
Staring at your phone when you are supposed to sleep not only affects your physical health but also your mental health. When the blue light from the mobile screens disrupt your hormones and sleep patterns, you also become vulnerable to developing depression. Additionally, low energy levels during the day, combined with foggy thinking because of sleep deprivation can also trigger a sense of emotional and mental weakness.
6. Impacts Your Memory
Contradicting to its name ‘smart’ phones, overexposure to these gadgets can affect your brain. Night phone usage and disrupted sleep make it impossible for your brain to repair connections that were damaged during the day – one of the major reasons why you can’t think clearly after a night without sleep.
References: boldsky.com, newslexpoint.com