Would Blue Light Affect my Pregnancy?
Blue light is a type of light that often appears as white colour. Blue light is everywhere. It comes from sunlight, LED bulbs, fluorescent lights, and our laptops and smartphones.
How Does Blue Light Affect Pregnancy?
Exposure to blue light throughout the day is not harmful, but long hours of exposure to blue light can have an adverse effect on our circadian rhythm. This is because blue light inhibits melatonin, which tricks your body to think that it is still daytime, making it harder for you to sleep and can reduce your Restless Eye Movement (REM) sleep, impacting your restfulness. As a pregnant mother who already has a lot on her plate, lack of sleep can indirectly result in fatigue and higher stress levels, which can affect your baby.
It is important for you to get quality and sufficient sleep before your baby arrives. Lack of sleep is not just an inconvenience. Past research has found that pregnant mothers who did not have enough sleep during the second trimester are associated with stress, depression, gestational diabetes, and lower quality of life. There have also been studies that suggest that pregnant mothers who had insufficient sleep during pregnancy have higher risks for complications, such as longer hours of labour and necessary caesarean section, especially among pregnant mothers who get less than six hours of sleep every day.
Besides, when you lack quality sleep, you may also reduce the amount of growth hormone your body releases, which could result in developmental or growth problems in your baby. As you are constantly consuming oxygen and using energy throughout the day, your blood flow to your baby peaks when you are sleeping. However, when your sleep is fragmented or disrupted, your blood flow to your baby might slow down, and your baby might get less oxygen and nutrition.
How to Reduce Blue Light Exposure?
- Turn off gadgets 2-3 hours before bedtime
In order to get a good night’s rest, you should turn off your gadgets such as smartphones, TV and tablets, 2-3 hours before bedtime. This can help decrease your blue light exposure closer to bedtime, so your melatonin can get to work.
- Glasses that Block Blue Light
There are blue light blocking glasses that might help to filter some blue light that reaches our eyes. Some individuals have reported that the amber or brown-tinted lenses help the most, but results differ for each individual.
- Install Blue Light Filtering Applications
You can install blue light filtering applications on your devices, especially if you are a pregnant working mother who spends a lot of time looking at a screen. These can help you filter much of the blue light you normally see.
It is important that you get enough sleep throughout your pregnancy for the benefit and health of you and your baby. Do speak to a doctor if you have trouble sleeping, even after you have tried these methods to reduce blue light exposure.
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