Sleep-deprivation is on the increase
Research shows that two-thirds of us are not getting enough sleep and that this lack of sleep is causing a host of health problems such as an increased risk of heart attacks, cancer, diabetes and increased risk of weight gain. Despite this, surveys show that many of us actually resent having to sleep, seeing it as a waste of time and prioritizing other activities. In particular, according to a UK poll, 78 per cent of us are using electronic gadgets (this rises to 91 per cent among those aged 18-24), subjecting ourselves to blue light which suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light does so more powerfully. Researchers at Harvard conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light.