Is Blue Light Altering Sleep Patterns
5 Tips for Reducing Exposure to Blue Light at Night
We are living in a digital age, where we rely heavily on technology. Whether it’s navigation in our car or checking emails for work, it’s hard to avoid screens during the day. It’s also not uncommon for most people to relax using devices at night for gaming, reading, or catching up on shows.
However, studies suggest that using light-emitting devices before bed can alter sleep patterns. The blue light that comes from our devices may be the primary culprit for poor sleeping habits. Humans need darkness to signal melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that helps people fall asleep. Blue light tricks the body into thinking it’s daytime, which disrupts the melatonin production. Nothing is worse than a poor night’s sleep, but with these tips & tricks, you can get the rest you need.
Protect your eyes
If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, you may want to consider wearing blue-blocking glasses. If that’s not your style, you can find accessories like shields that can be placed on your device’s screen, to filter out blue light. Like other stick-on screen protectors, these are easy to apply to the screen and are removable.
Avoid exposure to blue light 30 to 60 minutes prior to bed
You have had a long day, so log off your devices and give your mind a rest. Ideally, you should shy away from using devices an hour before bed. That means no TV, tablets, computers, or smartphones. A dimly lit room will help your body start naturally producing melatonin.
Use light reducing apps at night
Take advantage of smart technology for your home. Many newer appliances have an app to gradually reduce the amount of light emitted from devices. With a smart lighting system, you can set the lights to automatically adjust from a brighter blue light to a warmer color. These light settings support more natural patterns of waking up and falling asleep.
*Pro-tip-Most iPhones have a night mode you can schedule to dim your phone at a set time.
Turn down the brightness
When you use your computer, phone, or tablet in the evening, keeping the brightness as low as possible can help reduce your exposure to blue light. Reducing the brightness eases harmful eye strain.
Go outside more during the daytime
If you absolutely can’t live without your device, this last tip will please you. Allow yourself time to get outside to soak up natural blue light. It’s an essential part of our biological functioning. Blue light signals our body that it’s daytime. It only becomes harmful when you get too much of it at night. The more blue light you get during the day, the more your body can desensitize itself to blue light’s effects at night.
Hopefully, these five tips will help you get the rest you need for a more productive day. Sleep well!