Ocular Conditions

Does less blue light = More problems sleeping?

If a specific  type of light is transmitted less than normally to a person’s retina, does it increase the likelihood of sleep disturbances?    Researchers in Denmark, who published their results in a recent journal, may have provided an answer.    The researchers found that the chance of sleep trouble or sleep disturbances increased significantly when less blue light was transmitted to a person’s retina.

But how is this significant?   Are we subject to conditions of less blue light?   Yes!   In fact, as we age, the retina receives less blue light due to the yellowing of the crystalline lens inside the eye.    As this lens ages and yellows it slowly creates a filtering effect that reduces the transmission of blue light to the retina.    Unfortunately, this blue light may play an important role in how retinal nerve cells communicate to the hypothalamus for the purpose of creating sleep patterns.

The researchers suggest that this may help explain why some individuals are more likely to have trouble sleeping as they age.    The research also suggests blue-light therapy may be an avenue of further discovery for treating certain sleep conditions.