SLEEP HYGIENE: Light-adjusting apps and blue light blocking goggles
Updated: Feb 17
🌙 Limit screen exposure two to three hours before bedtime. If you cannot help watching TV, working on your computer, or looking at your smartphone late in the evening, take measures to reduce screen brightness as well as to block blue light.
EXPLANATION In the previous sleep hygiene post, we talked about how exposure to light in the evening hours blocks melatonin secretion and thereby delays sleepiness. Even though bright light of any kind can have melatonin-blocking effects, blue light is particularly bad in this regard.
Screens of electronic devices – TV, computers, and smartphones – are a major source of blue light in the evening. An obvious solution is to turn them off two to three hours before bedtime. But what if you cannot? Here are the things you can consider.
✔Install apps that BOTH reduce the brightness of your display and alter the color temperature to warmer colors.
❗️Keep in mind, however, that even though exposure to light has been investigated with respect to sleep and well-being, the efficacy of each specific app has not been. In other words, theoretically, these apps should help, but we don’t know just how much. Their efficiency may very well depend on your particular device and how consistently you use them.
✔One can also find blue light blocking glasses, which developers claim will help against melatonin loss.
❗️However, note that these goggles do not affect light intensity, which also plays a role in melatonin suppression. For greater effect, you would need to reduce screen brightness in your devices manually.