In our modern age of digital screens and artificial lighting, exposure to blue light has become ubiquitous, impacting various aspects of our health and well-being. From sleep patterns to eye health, the influence of blue light on our bodies is profound and multifaceted.

Understanding Blue Light

Blue light is a high-energy, short-wavelength light that is naturally emitted by the sun and present in many artificial light sources, including smartphones, computers, tablets, and LED lighting. While exposure to natural blue light during the day helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle and promotes alertness and cognitive function, excessive exposure to artificial blue light, especially in the evening, can disrupt these natural rhythms and have adverse effects on our health.

Effects on Sleep

Blue light exposure, particularly in the evening and nighttime hours, can interfere with the body's production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. The blue light emitted by electronic devices and artificial lighting suppresses melatonin production, making it more difficult to fall asleep and achieve restful sleep patterns. This disruption of the circadian rhythm can lead to sleep disturbances, insomnia, and overall poorer sleep quality.

Research suggests that limiting exposure to blue light in the evening hours, such as using blue light-blocking glasses or screen filters, can help mitigate these effects and promote better sleep hygiene. Additionally, adopting habits such as reducing screen time before bedtime and creating a relaxing bedtime routine can further support healthy sleep patterns.

Impact on Myopia

Myopia, or near-sightedness, is a common refractive error characterised by difficulty seeing distant objects clearly. While genetics and environmental factors play significant roles in the development of myopia, emerging research suggests that prolonged exposure to blue light may also contribute to the progression of myopia, particularly in children and adolescents.

Studies have found that exposure to blue light from digital screens and electronic devices, combined with near work activities such as reading and studying, may increase the risk of myopia development and progression. The exact mechanisms underlying this association are not fully understood but may involve changes in the structure and growth of the eye, including alterations in the length and shape of the eyeball.

To help mitigate the potential impact of blue light on myopia, experts recommend practicing healthy screen habits and promoting outdoor activities and natural light exposure. Encouraging children to take regular breaks from near work activities, maintain a comfortable viewing distance from screens, and spend time outdoors may help reduce the risk of myopia development and progression.

Excessive exposure to artificial blue light can have detrimental effects on sleep quality and eye health, including the potential exacerbation of myopia. By understanding the impact of blue light and adopting strategies to minimise exposure, we can better protect our health and well-being in an increasingly digital world.


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