LAN, Blue Light & Clock Gene Disruption

The LAN Problem and Blue Light

LAN refers to the artificial (i.e. not sunlight) which until the end of the 19th century was limited to candles and gas lights, but since the industrial revolution shifted to electric lighting, which emits far more blue light.

LAN and Clock Genes

UV light, and especially light in the blue wavelengths affects what is called our circadian rhythms, or our daily ‘biological clock’ and special genes called clock genes affect our hormone levels, inflammation pathways and even our behavior.   Too much LAN and especially blue light after sunset disrupts these important rhythms which impacts everything from our immune function and mood to our microbiome and many chronic disease processes.(source-https://genomemedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13073-019-0704-0#:~:text=Circadian%20rhythms%20are%20driven%20by,rhythms%20in%20physiology%20and%20behavior.)

Based on recent research in animals and some preliminary studies in humans, disruption of the clock genes can have direct effects on every resilience type.

 

Different Bulbs

The newer LED and fluorescent bulbs most people now use, emit even MORE blue light than the old incandescent light bulbs.

Even more intense sources of blue light are from screens-Ipads, computers, smartphones and TVs. These are the most problematic sources of LAN for the brain.

 

LAN recap

So to recap, LAN is a relatively new phenomenon in terms of human evolution.  Now, instead of the brain winding down after the sun sets, in front of a fire or  candlelight which is red (safe!) light, our brains start to wind UP at night in front of blue light emitting lights and screens.

This blue light tells our brain to be awake and messes up our clock genes, disrupts our sleep wake cycles, and turns down production our sleep hormone.  When we suppress melatonin and disrupt our clock genes, it can lead to a proinflammatory brain and body state and impact all aspects of resilience.

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