(Toledo News Now) - It seems like many of us are glued to our computers or smartphones 24-7 these days, but could all of that exposure to technology be affecting your health?
TVs, computers, smartphones and tablets keep people connected on a daily basis. For many, it's become a way of life. But health experts say the technology has a dark side.
"A lot of these devices admit that blue wavelength light that can affect the release of melatonin and can affect our biological clock," said Dr. Andre Aguillon, MD, from the University of Toledo.
Dr. Aguillon says the artificial blue light – which we can't necessarily see radiating from our devices – shuts off the brain's production of melatonin, which helps us sleep. It's a growing problem seen largely among teens.
"A lot of the children are involved in social media, involved in video games, so they are staying up late at night," Aguillon said.
Doctors say the lack of sleep can snowball into major health problems.
"Like cardiovascular disease diabetes, obesity, as well as poor performance and even increased risks of accidents," said Aguillon.
But the blue light isn't just in technology – it's everywhere.
"There is a blue component in all lighting, it just depends how much," said Lori Gross, president of Gross Electric.
Gross says fluorescent lightbulbs and LED lights may be more energy-efficient, but they tend to produce more blue light, which can be a major no-no for calming areas in your home – like your bedroom.
"The cooler the color, the more it speeds up your body rhythm," Gross said.
So what can you do about it?
"It's recommended that in the evening, use a dim light," Aguillon said. "And about 30-60 minutes before you go to bed, avoid any stimulation. Avoid using the computer, playing video games, using the tablet or smartphone."
There are also a number of apps you can download to your smartphone to help cut down on your blue light exposure.