Morning and evening light. Sunrise and sunset. They are full of red hues that help regulate our circadian rhythm.
Why is our circadian rhythm important?
It helps regulate our sleep and wake cycle which has a profound impact on our health and wellbeing- from the risk for cancer and other diseases to stress management and weight regulation.
Blue light at the wrong times can dis-regulate our circadian rhythm.
Blue light is naturally found during the day from the sun. Getting as much natural blue light during the day as we can also helps regulate our circadian rhythm and offers many other health benefits as well (hello vitamin D!). But it also comes from digital screens, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and fluorescent lighting. The problem arrises when we are experiencing blue light at unnatural times of the day. Going outside and catching the first morning light in our eyes and on our skin is very beneficial for regulating our circadian rhythm, hormones, and aiding in the production of energy. These can all have a profound impact on weight regulation and mood as well as overall health.
Red light in the evening signals to our bodies that sleep will soon be imminent. This is helpful for the production of melatonin, which not only impacts sleep timing and quality, energy levels during the day, and appetite regulation, but also impacts risk of cancer and other diseases. Blue light in the evening continues to signal to the body that it is still daylight- thus making sleep and normal recovery processes in the body more difficult.
One simple practice for circadian rhythm support is to limit blue light when the sun goes down. This can be accomplished by dimming lights in the evening, using candles or salt lamps for light, and/or wearing blue light blocking glasses. My family has been incorporating these nightly routines for years and it has been tremendously helpful! Using red light filters on devices such as flux (https://justgetflux.com) and other settings that limit or block blue light on devices is also helpful if they must be used in the evenings.
What do you do to foster a healthy connection with the various hues of light?