Are LED Lights Making Us Ill?

Over the last decade, much of Europe and the US have transformed the way they enlighten thier cities and towns. Councils and local governments from Paris to Brooklyn have restored high-energy sodium bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs. Generally, we are exposed to blue light through smart phones, computers, TVs, and in the home.

Previously this year, the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry published a paper by a group of well-known psychiatrists who talked about the dangerous effects of LED lights on mental illness.

It shows how our sleep is manipulated by blue lights.

“My concern about LED lighting followed from a larger, earlier concern about the relationship between light exposure and the occurrence of manic and mixed symptoms in bipolar disorder,”

John Gottlieb, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, stated.

He said that he had previously, without a doubt seen that supplemental light exposure in the form of bright light therapy. It was tremendously helpful to patients with depression. What he was slower to comprehend was that surplus and badly-timed light coverage could have unpleasant effects on hyper states and the sleep-wake cycle.

The paper has implications for the solution of mental illness. If a person is given a self-monitoring app, and trained to utilize their smart phone to document mood changes before bed, then it could affect their sleep cycle.s

Preceding studies of sleep disorders in children and adolescents show a clear and constant relationship between sleep disorders and frequency of digital device usage.

Presently, the National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise not using technology 30 minutes before bed and removing technology for the bedroom. On the other hand, there are currently no detailed guidelines for people with a fundamental mental illness or sensitivity to circadian disruption.

As LED technology has quickly extended across the world, the focus has been on the visual element and the energy-saving element. Currently, scientists, health professionals and the LED industry are working to reduce the blue light in LEDs and create adjustable lights that won’t damage those suffering from psychiatric disorders.


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