Updated: 2019, Jul 20

How to Reduce the Harm of Screen Light On Your Sleep?

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
Reduce the Harm of Screen Light On Your Sleep

Most people today like to snuggle up to their screens before bedtime. Although such a habit may be a favorite way to wind down after a long day, it could negatively affect a person’s sleep. More and more studies are pointing out to the harmful effects of artificial light on our sleeping patterns. The blue light emitted from the screens of smartphones and tablets is now considered to be particularly detrimental to our sleep as this particular wavelength of light seems to significantly suppress the production of melatonin. Now, if you find that ditching your favorite devices before hitting the sack is not an option for you, here are other ways you can reduce the harm of screens on your sleep.

1. Stop using your Device 2 hours Before Bed

According to a study published in Applied Ergonomics, melatonin suppression was significantly lowered 2 hours after test subjects stopped looking at their screens. This seems to be the amount of time your brain needs to adjust to darkness and start releasing melatonin, the neurotransmitter most responsible for the feeling of sleepiness. Although it can be challenging to control your nightly screen-time, you should keep in mind that sleep quality is important for the maintenance of overall health and that a lack of quality sleep is now recognized as a contributing factor in the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, and obesity.

Sleep and Tech Info

2. Lower your Device Brightness Levels

The aforementioned study with 13 participants involved in three experimental conditions to check for the effects electronic devices on sleep also found that screen brightness significantly impacted sleep onset. The brighter your screen, the more of the blue light is emitted and the less sleepy you will become. This should make perfect sense considering the dimming of the day results in our brain releasing melatonin and a dimmer screen light may do the trick at least partially. Since your sleep quality greatly depends on a well-functioning circadian rhythm and since studies show a disrupted circadian rhythm to be a result of our time spent looking at screens, it’s a good idea to limit your device use as much as possible for the sake of your health.

3. Amber-tinted Glasses

Wearing amber-tinted glasses while reading or looking at online content could help you become sleepy earlier according to a study published several years ago in Chronobiology International. According to this study, amber lenses were able to block blue light emitted by screens and study participants wearing this particular shade of glasses 3 hours before bedtime reported significant improvement in their sleep quality. The participants also reported better overall mood which might be partially due to better sleep and partially due to light exposure as explained by the researchers from this study.

4. Download Sleep Apps

Sleep Apps

Several companies have launched apps that enable users to adjust the color of their screens for better sleep, Kids Sleep Dr and Android’s Twilight just to name a few. These apps enable you to adjust smartphone or tablet colors to the yellow/orange spectrum which can significantly impact your melatonin production before bedtime. Because blue light is the number one reason why we become restless after looking at our screens for too long at nighttime, introducing yellowish-colored lighting in any form is bound to help us sleep better. Other than changing the color of your screen through apps, you can also use yellow or orange light bulbs in your bedroom. We should be able to see more of these apps in the future as well as devices with sleep-promoting features as pointed out in some studies.

5. Use Smaller Devices

A computer screen emits significantly more blue light than a tablet or smartphone does, so we should assume the larger the devices, the more of the blue light is emitted. Because you want to limit your exposure to the amount of light, one way you could do so is by using smaller screen devices before bedtime, ideally a smaller sized phone. If you combine this with reducing your screen brightness and adjusting screen color to the yellow range, then you can surely expect your sleep patterns changing for the better after some time.

Conclusion

Enhance Sleep

We’ve become so accustomed to using our devices day in and day out, we’ve forgotten to look at the consequences of such behavior. While smartphones and computers have certainly made our lives easier in some ways, uncontrolled use of these devices was found to be detrimental to our health. One consequence of looking at smartphones during bedtime for too much of your time could be disrupted sleep. If you’ve noticed your sleep quality being poor lately, it may be your smartphone to blame. While ditching your devices before bedtime is the best way you could improve your sleep, you can also use the tips given here to reduce the damaging effect screens have on your sleep.

Use of natural sleep aids may help in regulating the sleeping patterns. You must take Lunexia review into account to verify its benefits towards the healthy sleep.

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Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandri

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