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  • The Mind Body Foundation

Too much and Too little light in the Digital era

Our bodies have evolved over millions of years and carry with them the antidotes they need not only to survive but also to thrive. Melatonin is one such hormone in our body that plays a pivotal role in helping us fall asleep. Melatonin has a natural anti-anxiety effect on the body by calming the body and aiding in resetting the stress – physical and mental - over a good night’s sleep.

Our circadian rhythm (body clock that regulates sleep) uses light from sunlight and sunset as a tool to communicate to our brain through special receptors in our eye (Melanopsin- containing ganglion cells). The digitalized modern era we live in has led to deprivation in NECESSARY exposure of natural daylight during the day and darkness during the night. This is because most of us spend the majority of our daytime indoors in schools, offices, homes and evenings exposed to blue light from various technological devices (Phones, TV, laptops, etc.).

The alterations in our environment and lifestyle that took place over a couple of hundred years (agrarian to the digital world) have left these special receptors under-stimulated. They neither get SUFFICIENT natural daylight to ramp up the brain activity and keep us active during the day nor get enough darkness in the evening to secrete sufficient melatonin to induce sleep. As a result, most people experience daytime sleepiness, tiredness and difficulty falling asleep at night. All this put together, your stress system does not get to reset well, which in turn has impacts on one’s physical and mental well-being.

Tips on how to counter these effects on the next post!!

PC: Vector stock

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