What’s The Big Deal About Blue Light?
What Is Blue Light?
The evolution in digital screen technology has advanced dramatically over the years, and many of today's electronic devices use LED back-light technology to help enhance screen brightness and clarity.
These LEDs emit very strong blue light waves. Phones, computers, tablets and flat-screen televisions are just among a few of the devices that use this technology. Because of their wide-spread use and increasing popularity, we are gradually being exposed to more and more sources of blue light and for longer periods of time.
Can Blue Light Keep You Awake?
Using your gadgets at night before bed can affect how well you sleep at night. Study after study has shown that light given off by electronics affects our sleep health.
The consensus is that the blue light that LED screens give off can slow or halt the production of melatonin, the hormone that signals our brain that it's time for bed.
Without melatonin, we stay awake and alert, keeping us up later than intended.
How To Reduce Blue Light...
Until the tech industry fully addresses the problems caused by blue light, there’s a number of steps we can take — in our household, and in our civic halls:
“Smart” appliances like refrigerators often boast a touchscreen with bright blue display. Consider adding a small “drape” or other cover to put over appliance screens, so they doesn’t blast you into insomnia, when you go into the kitchen for a late night glass of water. Appliances with LED-based bulbs are another common culprit – The Nimble features a ‘not so bright LEDs’ as to not interrupt your sleep when charging devices at night.
...On Your laptop and appliances
Use Flux at night to slowly decrease your computer’s blue glow as the sun sets. Buy a glare-reducing protective screen cover. Don’t buy electronics with lots of blue light — or if you do, cover the bulbs. Use blue-light protective glasses at night if you can’t avoid using your devices, or can’t entirely block out blue light in your environment.
...On Your mobile devices
iPhone users can use Night Shift (under Settings > Display) and the less-known Color Tint feature; Android users can download Twilight for their screen-dimming needs. If you can’t help bringing your phone to bed, wear HEV blocking glasses, put a blue filter screen on your phone, or place it face down while it plays; play a movie or ambient white noise, or podcast clips to listen to while falling asleep. Or better yet, drift off while reading an analog book: It will force your brain to imagine, and that effort will wear you out more than the instant simulation brought by the visual nature of our devices.
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