Over the past year or so, some of the negative effects that blue light can have on our eyes, especially at night, have been coming out of the woodwork. Now I’m sure your first question is: What the heck is blue light? Well, according to Harvard Health, “Not all colors of light have the same effect. Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night. And the proliferation of electronics with screens, as well as energy-efficient lighting, is increasing our exposure to blue wavelengths, especially after sundown.” Not only does blue light make it more difficult to sleep it can also cause digital eye strain and retina damage over time.
Now here’s the deal, light in general later in the evenings isn’t great and can reduce the production of melatonin making it more difficult to sleep. However, bluelight reduces the production of melatonin even more than other colors of light. In fact, according to a study conducted at Harvard blue light can suppress the production of melatonin twice as long as other lights.
So, here’s a few tips and tricks you can use to minimize your exposure to blue light in the evenings.
Limit screen time
I know, I know. How can we expect you to avoid screens in the evenings when this is the best time to binge watch your favorite shows and catch up on what’s been happening on social media all day. But maybe try logging off at least an hour or two before bed. Try reading a book or spend some quality time with your significant other or family.
Use Night Shift on your phone
If you absolutely can’t resist being on your phone in the evenings, make sure you’re always using Night Shift. If for some reason your phone doesn’t have a Night Shift mode, you can still download blue light filter apps that do the same thing.
Blue light blocking glasses
Blue light blocking glasses have become extremely popular over the past few months. Companies such as Felix Grey and Pixel Eyewear have developed a lense that blocks the harsh blue light. I personally am a huge fan of these glasses. About a year ago, I discovered that my eyes were killing me after spending all day on my computer. A friend told me about blue light glasses and I am so glad I took her advice. I can honestly say I’ve noticed a huge difference. My eyes aren’t dry and painful even after spending all day on my laptop and I definitely fall asleep easier at night.
So moral of the story: blue light is bad, especially at night. Make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to protect your eyes from the detrimental effects of overexposure over time and make sure you’re getting the rest you deserve!