The Alien Sun We Now Live In
Today we live in a yearlong summer or at least that’s what your eyes are telling your brain, due to the miracle or electricity and the light bulb we now never have to accept darkness. Cities can literally seem like they never sleep, we now have the option to do anything at any time in our own home. Due to this miracle of modern science we have started to create biological miss matches with our environment and these miss matches actually have a lot more power then we give them credit for.
I’m sure you’ve guessed by now the sun we see when we look up at the sky is not the alien sun I’m talking about, yet the artificial lights we see probably more often than our real sun, now that is what debatable is at the heart of many modern day health problems. To say there is only one factor in today or even yesterday’s problems is to be foolish but to say this is a big player is not when you look at the evidence.
Before I take you through why I’ve made such a claim about blue/artificial let me first take you through a normal spectrum of daylight produced by our sun and the different colours on the spectrum of light. Light as we know it is actually a mesh of lots of different wave lengths, which can be seen as different colours. We have the visible spectrum and the invisible spectrum of light as well as other wave lengths not classified as light.
The sun rises and the first colours that hit the ground are blue, green, yellow, red and infrared (IR). This is important because blue light is important to kick start our hormonal reactions in the morning like cortisol, whereas the green and yellow react with our photo receptors to help us see while red and IR light help balance the damaging effects of the blue. I will explain later why and what blue damages and IR is its balancing factor but to see more on IR look at the post Infrared light the ultimate healer. Around 9am UVA light starts to hit the ground and what this does is inhibit or block the effects blue light has on hormone production as if we produced large amounts of cortisol all day that wouldn’t be good right (hint, hint). Then around 11am to 3pm UVB hits the ground, now this depends on the season and where you are in conjunction to the equator. For example if you are above the 30th latitude then from October till April is likely to be a UVB winter (no UVB), this ofcourse changes the further you get away and the closer you get to the equator. UVB is ofcourse important for making vitamin D and according to some for skin cancer, to find out more look at the post UV light the ultimate charger. For now I’ll only ask you one question if UVB causes skin cancer and vitamin D is anti-cancerous how does that work? In the evening blue light is at a very low level as is UV and IR is now the strongest with red, now being the time for the body to start settling down to recover. As darkness sets in melatonin is released helping us get to sleep and setting of a cascade of hormonal reactions that cause cell growth, repair and recycling as well as short term to long term memory transfer. Autophagy and mitophagy (recycling of cells and mitochondria) is possibly the most important aspect of sleep which happens only when conditions are right between 12-3am, see my video link here for my tips on how to enable autophagy every night.
Another thing we need to be aware of is what common artificial lights look like on this colour spectrum in comparison to our sun.
Our morning sun
Our sun at midday
Our evening sun
When you look at the basic LED bulb that is in most house hold these days you will see huge spike in the blue range with not much in the red to balance it out, but we used to use fire and candles for centuries how comes that was ok? If you look at the older ways of creating light you’ll see a lot more red in those charts, if you remember blue light was strongest in the morning and red in the evening so this although caused some minor issues did fit much better to our suns natural cycle.
So now to the important question why is artificial light destroying our health? First let’s look at what I said about the morning with blue and IR light, blue light with no balancing factors destroys DHA (Omega 3 fatty acid) in the eye. Now this is important because DHA is the only lipid in the known universe that can transfer light into a DC electric current and back again, this gives our eyes the ability to use light to control our hormonal responses and set our circadian rhythm. Our eye is also where we store the most DHA in our body in terms of per square cm, for this reason alone you can see that blue light can have some serious side effects but this alone is not a big deal and eating a high seafood diet would mitigate this anyhow. Next let’s talk about the constant hormonal stimulation I hinted to earlier, we all know that high cortisol levels have huge effects on health. I lay this out in my E-book Stress the difference between death and a superhuman. Blue light also raises blood glucose and decreases insulin resistance, does that sound like any common Neolithic diseases? Knowing this think about the effects alone just being inside all day under blue light has and not seeing the sun, I can think of more than a few people that this relates to. Again on its own not a huge thing but it starts to add up especially when you take into account the never ending list of micro stressors we now have in our environment.
But why all the fuse, what’s the big deal? No not until you add the final piece that is the real reason we have the biggest problem is the effect it has on our sleep, as I said at the beginning we live in a yearlong summer which means our bodies natural sensory systems can’t tell whether its night, day, summer or winter because we constantly manipulate the light levels. The biggest problem here is at night, because at night blue light will supress melatonin which is our key night time hormone, without melatonin a whole cascade of hormonal reactions can’t happen. Above we saw the table on artificial lights and there colour spectrum to the right they also have a % of how much melatonin they suppress. Now if we look at all the vital functions that happen while we sleep that now will either completely or partially be inhibited due to blue light add the cortisol and blood sugar spike as well as the decrease in insulin production and destruction of DHA in the eye you can start to see why I said what I’ve said about blue light. There are many ways we can mitigate the detrimental effects of blue lights in our homes but the easiest of all is blue light blocking sun glasses, the other ways include using different light sources in your home throughout the day and or at the office. Now using lamps at the office may sound a bit much and wearing sun glasses at night may seem a bit funny but there are ways of doing this without seeming like a complete crack pot to others that either don’t know or don’t want to know. Remember not everyone will like or accept, not everyone cares about their health wrongly or rightly. Many blue blockers come in lighter colours and more stylish frames now as its much more popular than a few years back when you would look like you wear preparing for some strange science experiment. You can also use incandescent lamps in your house at night and call it ambient or stylish lighting (healthy and trendy), as for the day time a UVA/UVA & UVB lamp will often just be a very bright white light when mixed with a bit of IR which is exactly what reptile lamps are. Get one stick it up and you’re just making the place brighter, no one needs to know you’re making them healthier. Check out my videos here on blue light and sleep