STUDY SKILLS TIP #66 – BLUE LIGHT

by psalter on July 1, 2015

WHY STUDENTS NEED TO TURN OFF DEVICES AN HOUR BEFORE SLEEP

Artificial light from electronic and other devices generally emit a blue light (it may not actually look blue, but that is the underlying light).  Blue light, along with ultraviolet light is a type of non-visible light at a very short wavelength.  You can see an image of the spectrum here: http://www.bluelightexposed.com/#what-is-blue-light.

What does blue light do to the human body?

Non-visible light has a lot of energy and studies show that a lot of exposure to this type of light can do damage to eyes and also impair sleep cycles. During sleep lots of essential physical processes take place and it is also when learning from the day is consolidated in memory. So getting enough sleep is essential for students.

Blue light is naturally generated only during the day, from sunlight.  When it gets dark, naturally occurring blue light ceases, signalling the body to produce melatonin, the hormone associated with sleep. Using artificial lighting and devices which emit a blue light at night confuses the body-clock (the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle) by stopping the body from producing melatonin.  This can result in disrupted sleep patterns including difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep and shortened sleep duration.

Those at greatest risk from night-time exposure to blue light are those with existing sleep disorders and adolescents who often experience delayed sleep patterns as a result of biological changes.

What can students do to limit their exposure to blue light at night?

Some suggestions include:

  • Be exposed to sunlight during the day to assist in accurately setting body clocks.
  • Stop using all electronic devices preferably at least 2 hours before bed.
  • Turn off all artificial lighting 1-2 hours before bed.
  • Get a red or orange reading lamp, which does not emit blue light.
  • Use blue light blocking glasses at night.
  • Install a program or app on computers or devices to change the type of light it emits. A variety of programs are available including F.lux, EasyEyez, Night Filter, Zzz iPhone filter, Bluelight and Twilight
  • Invert the colours on iPhones or iPads.
  • Turn the brightness down on devices for a few hours before bed (not perfect, but better than nothing!).

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au  your students can learn more about how to achieve their personal academic best by working through the units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog and the email newsletters is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

 

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net

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The following are some tips which may help your students to move information from short to long term memory.

  • BE ENGAGED: If you are interested in what you are learning you are more likely to remember it. Ask questions, pre-read information, make summaries and follow up on things you don’t understand.
  • USE REPETITION: Repetition is key to transferring information from short term to long term memory. The more often you practice a technique, or revise your information the better it will transfer to long term memory.
  • RECORD INFO: Don’t just write down everything your teacher says, or copy straight from a textbook or the Internet. Think about what is being communicated and create notes that are accurate, meaningful to you and build connections. Mind maps are a helpful tool for this.
  • ORGANISE INFO: When you are studying for a topic, make sure you organise the information into small, distinct chunks.
  • VISUALISE INFO: Build a mental picture of what you are trying to remember, like the parts of a plant or a battle in history.
  • BUILD ASSOCIATIONS: This might mean developing some kind of sensory cue which enables you to remember information such as smell or sound. Try turning your notes into a song or poem.
  • SHAKE THINGS UP: Write in a crazy font, use lots of colours, use your left hand to write instead of your right…anything that makes your brain have to engage more actively with what it is you are trying to learn.
  • FUEL YOUR BRAIN: If you want your brain to work well for you, you also need to work well for your brain. Eating foods rich in Omega 3 and essential fatty acids (such as fish, nuts, legumes and leafy green vegetables) will help your brain to function optimally. Drink lots of water so that your brain doesn’t dehydrate. Keep away from too much caffeine which may impair brain function.
  • REST YOUR BRAIN: Getting fresh air and exercise helps your brain to process information, as does sleep. Most students need 8-10 hours of sleep a night. The last stage of memory consolidation takes place while you are sleeping so ensure you get enough sleep each night.

 

If your school subscribes to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au  you can learn more about this by working through the Active Studying and Your Brain and Memory units on the site. Check if your school subscribes here.

NOTE: The CONTENT on this blog and the email newsletters is NOT TO BE COPIED, reproduced or shared in any form.

The only exception to this are the SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS to www.studyskillshandbook.com.au who have permission to use these tips in their school newsletters, forward to students and parents or post on school noticeboards.

 

Dr Prue Salter
Enhanced Learning Educational Services
The study skills specialist!
Study Skills Resources: www.enhanced-learning.net

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STUDY SKILLS TIP #64 – IT’S ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE

May 1, 2015

When students start secondary school, they are usually very positive and optimistic about school. Then things can start to get harder, a bit more challenging, maybe they get a bad mark and become discouraged, or maybe their friends start to influence their attitude. Some students are able to overcome these challenges, while others let it […]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP #63 – MAKING THE MOST OF CLASSTIME

April 1, 2015

So what are the advantages of using classtime efficiently? Well, students will complete more work in class and have less to do at home, teachers will be pleased with students’ application and of course students you will learn more! And if they don’t use classtime efficiently? Well they will have to do more work at home and they will find they don’t […]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP #62 – READING FROM SCREENS VERSUS PRINTED MATERIALS

March 1, 2015

Students now spend a lot of time reading from a screen: computers, kindle, mobile devices. The research into the implications of this are still in the early stages, however current evidence indicates that at this point in time print may be slightly superior to the screen in relation to comprehension, learning, retention and ease of […]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP #61 – PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

February 1, 2015

Whilst parents are often involved in their teenager’s sporting, musical or dramatic activities, parental support on the sidelines of their adolescent child’s studies can also be beneficial, particularly to academic performance. Research shows that children are more likely to succeed if parents are involved in their learning. Hendersen and Mapp (2002) found that ‘the more […]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP #60 – GAMING AND THE ADOLESCENT BRAIN

January 2, 2015

What are electronic games doing to the adolescent brain? Mobile and handheld technologies provide great opportunities for learning.  However, with the vast number of electronic games also available, it is easy for students to become distracted by these games at any hour of the day or night and in any location.  Globally, addiction to electronic […]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP #59 – MAKING THE MOST OF THE YEARLY REPORT

December 1, 2014

Ten Top Tips to Make the Most of the End of Year School Report 1. Before the report arrives home, a useful exercise would be to ask your child to write their own school report. Make up a grid similar to this (below) for all subjects, and ask your child to pretend to be the […]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP #58 – MANAGING CHILDREN’S TECHNOLOGY USE

November 1, 2014

Parents are often at a loss about how to manage the amount of time children spend using technology. This is becoming particularly difficult as students are required to not only undertake their research electronically, but also to complete their work from school either on-line or at least on the computer.  It can be hard to […]

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STUDY SKILLS TIP #57 – HOW TO STAY POSITIVE AS EXAMS APPROACH

October 1, 2014

This month’s tip from Rocky Biasi at Human Connections.  Learn more about ‘tapping’ techniques that can help manage stress at: https://xb145.isrefer.com/go/entap/Enhanced/ SYDNEY ONLY: Individuals (parents and students) may be interested in attending a workshop in Sydney during October run by Karen Gilles on enhancing self-awareness and self-understanding, which will also help stress management: http://www.embodiedgroundedconnection.com/Workshops.html. Watch this […]

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