In a May 2012 journal, Harvard University researchers reported on ongoing research to understand the range of health effects produced by increased exposure to light at night, especially blue light emitted by electronics, including smartphones and tablets.
According to the report, many studies have identified a broad spectrum of serious health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, and several types of cancer as being linked to nighttime light exposure, especially when such exposure is a daily work environment.
Exposure to light suppresses melatonin, which is a hormone critical to regulating circadian rhythms and sleep/wake cycles. Increased exposure to light is part of the reason so many report poor sleep. Moreover, blue light, which is emitted by many electronics and energy-efficient bulbs, suppresses melatonin for almost twice as long as incandescent lights. In short, the quest for energy efficiencies in lighting will have a significant effect on health unless some adjustments are made. Some options are:
-Use incandescent or warm tone lights for evening reading. Avoid LED’s, especially those with a lot of blue light.
-Avoid using electronics or working night. If you must, wear blue-blocking glasses, such as Slumber Shades.
Everyone should be alert to unintended consequences from the benefit of light in the evening. Energy efficiency savings are significant for everyone, but using them should not cost your health.
See: Blue Light Has a Dark Side http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2012/May/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
In a January 2013 article written for the Office of Health Safety Canada, author Ann Ruperstein outlines and illustrates the extraordinary safety problem that fatigue and sleep disorders have become, especially as a result of the increase in use of flexible shift workers. She also identifies the research and increasing corporate interest in measures to respond to the problem.
According to Dr. Adam Moscovitch of University of Calgary, over the last 100 years the average amount of sleep diminished from 9 hours to six, and at least 10% of the population is affected by chronic sleep deprivation. Moreover, in this 24/7 world, many see sleeping as an unproductive “a waste of time”, and attempt to accomplish more and more during each day.
Does it matter? In a recent Australian study, researchers compared the cognitive functioning due to sleepiness with that due to alcohol consumption. They match; a professional working with 17 hours of wakefulness will have the same decision-making and reflex capability as someone who is legally impaired with alcohol. According to statistics from the National Sleep Foundation in Virginia, over 200,000 car accidents a year are related to sleepiness and fatigue. The Exxon Valdez oil spill, Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and multiple airplane crashes all cite fatigue as a significant factor in the catastrophes. Managing fatigue among flexible schedule professionals is a national safety issue as much as a productivity and health issue.
Both the Canadian and the U.S. occupational safety and health agencies have substantially increased their focus on the real consequences of sleep deprivation. The changing picture of the global workforce –a wider range of professions working more flexible hours than ever in history – compelled the OSHA agencies to expand their historical focus on factory and machine safety to include fatigue issues.
What’s on your back to school shopping list?
While shopping for pencils and notebooks, don’t forget to include a SunRise Clock. Of all the back to school items you might consider, this amazing clock has the most potential to improve your student’s readiness to learn, athletic performance, and academic success.
Research confirms the importance of a good night’s sleep for everyone, especially sleep deprived teenagers. Their biological clocks are naturally set to a relatively late sleep schedule. Add the nightly digital distractions that most teenagers love, and the National Sleep Foundation reports that only 20% of teenagers get sufficient sleep at night. Research confirms that teenagers are the last people who should be waking early, yet most have to arrive at school very early and stay late to fit sports practices and other activities into a crowded day.
While sleep challenges are likely to persist throughout the school year, September is the cruelest month. If teenagers follow their inclination and stay up late and sleep in all summer, going back to school can be, literally, a rude awakening. Teenagers accustomed to sleeping until noon will be way out of sync with the schedule they’ll need to follow in September. Many of those students will be sleeping in class and drinking coffee and energy drinks to try to stay awake. You probably can’t fight the school schedule, but you can help smooth your teenager’s transition from summer sleep patterns to the September school schedule. SunRise Clocks are an effective remedy for that too-early school bus. They mimic a natural sunrise each morning, and the gradually brightening light will wake your student naturally, helping them start the day with more energy and alertness. Parents also love the fact that the SunRise Clock wakes teens so effectively, avoiding the need for those nagging wake up calls and morning arguments that can leave the whole family starting the day in a bad mood.
We had a customer pop by our offices last week and she just wrote us this nice message. She was also kind enough to encourage us to post it here on the blog.
“I just wanted to thank you and your colleagues for your great customer service yesterday. (And for having a great product!) Its so nice to be able to deal with people as “people” and not some giant company beaurocracy. Thanks again, (customer’s name).”
We do love those happy emails, and if you want us to share them on the blog, please let us know!
The team from Triathanewbie.com has decided our clock is awesome for athletes. Waking up to a warm light which promotes good sleep habits sure beats the buzzer. Rising at 5 AM for a quick workout at the pool is made so much easier with the BioBrite EZ Wake in Sea Green. Check it out on their list of important links.
“This easy-to-use alarm clock wakes you up gently for your morning training. It has a light that simulates a sunrise right in your bedroom so that you are not jarred awake with a loud alarm, but with a calm light that’s comfortable on your eyes. For those of you who are concerned that the light won’t wake you up, there is a sound alarm that you can set as a back-up. You can also use the light to read before going to bed!”
Here’s a review we received via e-mail today from our pal, Heather.
“This is the BEST alarm clock ever! I live in Western New York where the winter months yield only grey skies – this alarm clock has been a lifesaver! Also, the sundown feature ensures I don’t read in bed for too long! Love it!”
Thanks, Heather! Keep following us here on our blog and on Facebook.
We love our customers, and they love us! Check out the e-mail we received today!
“I would like to submit a testimonial. I have just purchased my second sunrise lamp. I LOVE the first one I purchased around 15 years ago, and wanted another one. I hope I enjoy the second one as much as I have enjoyed the one I bought many years ago. The first one I purchased was $100, and it has been one of the best investments I have ever made … Thanks for making such well thought out, quality products.” – KH
Thanks, KH, for sending us your thoughts; it just makes our day! Keep ’em comin’ folks, as so many of our customers have done! It might be posted to our blog!
It’s almost fall, and some of us are experiencing the fall funkies, the winter blues, or just the blahs, which increase as you experience less daylight and more gray days – a natural response actually, but not one that needs to overwhelm you. Get control of the seasonal cycle this time by using a light box or visor for your lux therapy, and a dawn simulator to help reprogram your body’s clock.
Let us know how we can help you with your fall/winter blues!
And, check out what our friends at Best New Alarm Clocks.com have to say about the SunRise Alarm Clock in Charcoal, and post your own review!
“Really great product, good company This is a super product that provides a great way to wake up in the mornings. We wake up much easier and more refreshed with the Sunrise Clock. Great find.”
“Before buying the BioBrite clock, I read in one of the earlier reviews that the method of programming the clock was rather complex– This is not true.”
“I received my BioBrite a month ago and have been using it ever since. It’s fairly easy to set up and works really well for me.”
“What a fabulous alternative to a shrill alarm jarring you awake out of a deep slumber. The Biobrite is a sunrise clock that really works.”
“I have one window to my bedroom and not much light gets in at all. Before i got this when I woke up I had no idea if it was 6AM or 10AM.”
August is upon us! Here in Maryland, instead of our normal humid weather, we’ve been blessed with cool undercurrents. The breeze is blowing and the sun is shining indoors and out! Check out our latest SunRise Alarm review from our Fan of the Day – an Amazon.com commenter by the handle “Candy Austinlady.” She writes:
“I had a cheaper other-brand version of a progression wake up clock for a couple of years, but it wasn’t bright enough. This one …is bright enough! I use the sunset with white noise to fall asleep and wake up to the sun gradually rising in my room. Completely awesome. I wake up before the alarm can even go off. And I don’t feel jarred away by some big blaring noise and I wake up feeling awake and not drugged. This is a must – I’m not exactly a morning person, but I’m able to wake up by 6am and not be the mommy-monster!
“Yes, they are a bit more than your $10 Wal-Mart alarm, but it’s worth every single penny!”
Check out her review and others like it on our Amazon seller pages.
Confused about light therapy? Check out MayoClinic.com’s great article on the subject and find out why it’s an effective treatment for several conditions including OCD, jetlag, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, shift work and postpartum depression. You might also want to see their piece on circadian rhythm disorders. A BioBrite dawn simulation clock, visor or light box could be what you need to help ease your symptoms. Feel free to contact us on our site www.BioBrite.com with any questions or concerns about light therapy treatment. As always, you should check with your doctor before starting any treatment.