Every winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, we anticipate the possibility of catching a cold or flu. We use more artificial lighting, we tend to go outdoors less, and we’re generally out of sync from our usual circadian rhythm. The natural mRNA attempts to maintain a personalized homeostasis, but unfortunately, everyone is also bombarded by additional environmental and emotional stressors. That is why it’s been said that we are in a constant (sympathetic nervous system) “fight or flight” mode. Breaking points can result in: irritability, anxiety, sleep disruption, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, degenerative diseases, auto-immune disorders, depression, and neurological disorders. A primary reason for the existence and increase of them is from the artificial blue light emitted from digital devices and most light bulbs.
Natural blue light, part of a rainbow of color waves from the Sun, is based upon its short wave- length and high energy capacity. It helps to regulate sleep/wake cycling, i.e. circadian rhythms. It suppresses the production of melatonin (our sleep hormone) and stimulates the release of cortisol, a hormone which boosts alertness and wakefulness. Artificial blue light lacks the balancing red and orange wave-lengths. Since the presence and increase of Autism has been noted to correlate the same trend in the use of digital devices, you may understand why parents may be concerned about the health effects upon their school age children’s increased screen time since the Pandemic.
Mariana Figueiro, PhD., has done research on lighting for institutionalized older adults. Her research indicates that a lack of light reaching the retina can have biological effects upon their visual perception, biological responses, and cognition. The most dramatic effects were noted on people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. She’s been designing plans to vary illumination levels and sources for high circadian stimulation during the daytime and lowered stimulation at night. The plans also include illumination cues for any nighttime activity. More information on her research is on www.ies.org.
An interview with Matt Maruca, CEO of RA Optics on Wise Traditions: www./westonaprice.org/sv/podcast/sunlight-the-greatest-multivitamin; and information on Dr. Jack Kruse’ “Circadian Rhythm 24-Hour Tour”, have inspired me to develop this blog. I’ll have more information on optimizing health by synchronizing the circadian rhythm in my next blog. Hint: some will be related to weight loss!