Nowadays, blue light is an inevitable part of daily life. It emits from your desktop computer, your smartphone, and even the energy-saving LED lights you have at home.
Although research into the negative health effects of blue light is not yet done, it has been linked to several illnesses from cancer and diabetes to heart disease, obesity, and poorer sleep.
To add to that list, scientists presenting at this year’s conference of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) say that it can trigger extreme sugary snack consumption – at least in RATS.
The study found an hour of blue light exposure at night led to elevated blood sugar levels and increased sugar consumption among male rats.
The researchers discovered that their glucose-tolerance levels changed to post-exposure – a caution sign of pre-diabetes.
Blue Light Effects to Rats
Over the development of the study, the rats had different nutritionally balanced food, water, lard, and sugar water. When they are exposed to blue light at night (1 hour), they drank more sugar than when not.
The test of blue light exposure to rats was done on a daily basis. They found out that when the rats are exposed consistently, it could result in weight gain and a diabetes diagnosis.
Even though these observations were made in male rats, the researchers warn the people that a similar process could be done to us.
“Limiting the amount of time that we spend in front of screens at night is, for now, the best measure to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of blue light,”
“In case it is necessary to be exposed to devices at night, I would recommend the use of apps and night mode features on the devices, which turn the screens more orange and less blue or the use of blue light filtering googles that are already available in the market.”said Anayanci Masís-Vargas from the University of Strasbourg, France
This study has given interesting results. But it does need more time to investigate to confirm if the blue light has the same sugar craving effects on humans.
However, blue light also has positive effects on people. During the daytime, the blue light can boost attention, reaction time, and mood.
The only problem with it is if we are exposed to it at night, especially before bedtime because we will have a hard time to sleep.
Rahul Khurana, MD, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, recommends limiting screen time two to three hours before bed – or switching to a nighttime setting if necessary.