Blue Light Enhances Brain Performance

A single 30 min. exposure to blue-wavelength light can increase subsequent activation in brain regions critical for successful working memory performance and improve response times, a new study suggests.

Previous studies have shown that exposure to blue light, which is similar to the type of light you get on a bright sunny day, leads to increases in alertness and better performance on reaction time tasks, while being exposed.

“Our study adds to this literature by showing that exposure to 30 minutes of blue light in comparison to 30 minutes of amber light led to subsequently better performance on a cognitive task 40 minutes after the blue-light exposure period had ended,” Dr Alkozei, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona in Tucson, told MedScape News.

The findings were presented at SLEEP 2016: the 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

With increases in cognitive load, the blue-light group had faster reaction times and more efficient responding (ie, they answered more items correctly per second).

The importance of this study is that it showed there was a lasting benefit, not just momentary.

In other words, it may be beneficial to use blue light before having to engage in tasks that require you to stay alert and react quickly, such as testing situations.

The melanopsin receptors that are providing light information to the circadian system is most sensitive to blue light, so it’s never going to be surprising that blue light has a strong effect on biological rhythms.

[SOURCE: SLEEP 2016: 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Abstract 0072. Presented June 12, 2016].

10 thoughts on “Blue Light Enhances Brain Performance

  1. This doesn’t surprise me. 🙂 Blue is the color that represents the Glory of the Creator. (Psalm 19:1, “The heavens DECLARE the Glory of God & their expanse is declaring the work of His Hands.” The color of the heavens is BLUE as is the eye color of the (Hebrew) House of King David is BLUE.)
    WHERE can one get these “blue lights”? Are they the same as the “full-spectrum lights” one finds in a fabric store? (There used to be an MLM company that distributed these kinds of lights & were making OUTSTANDING contributions to elementary school aged children in the classroom.)

  2. regarding blue light we are reminded by the establishment that blue light is the most damaging rays for your eyesight what are to believe?
    Arthur

    • I don’t know where you read that Arthur. The “authorities” are not a go-to
      group for facts. There’s no problem. The shorter the wavelength (blue end) the more
      potentially damaging the rays, true. But as part of whole light, blue is just one
      component. Whole spectrum daylight is the best there is for hygiene (the Florence
      Nightingale hypothesis), mood and alertness.

      • hi dr keith
        the blue light i mentioned was from watching the television and being on the computer i now wear blue light blockers when doing so the reason being 18 months ago i had near
        perfect eyesight then developed polymalagia my ex GP totally misdiagnosed and treated me for arthritis after 4 weeks i was hit with GCA and lost most of my eyesight i am down to 15%
        also still on steroids which have been reduced to 10mg to try and preserve the remainder if my sight
        Arthur (Australia)

  3. Are blue fluorescent lights i.e. 20w and 40w fluorescent tube lights the type of blue light source that’s being referred to here, or it is a different spectrum blue light from another more high tech source.

    Thank you.

    Col McLaurin
    Phnom Penh
    Cambodia

  4. Hi Dr. Keith! Thanks for this very interesting idea of allowing all to follow after your understandings, and eventually all will gather blessings from them – quite radical in this day and age.

    Please use your expertise to remove this cloud from the initial proceedings concerning blue light, as I cannot even find the meaning of the word “polymalagia” let alone ascertain whether or not this blue light – inferred as a reason for the presence of Giant Cell Arteritis – is good or bad for me.

    A thinking person would hope you will steer this away from negative concerns, Dr. Keith, and I am sure you will. I have been following your advice now for years, and am very thankful this world has someone like you, not only astute in all things health-wise, but you wear in your bodily frame as physical proof, one living in a healthy manner has many more years to enjoy his/her life! Keep up your great work for the earth.

    • James,
      The word is a misspelling of polymyalgia. It’s an auto-immune condition, NOT caused by blue light, computers or television.

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