Watching a screen in the evening can be an enjoyable way to spend time, however there is a hidden danger.
It’s called blue light. Blue light occurs naturally in sunlight and helps wake your body clock up in the morning. It’s important to get blue light during the day to help regulate your natural body rhythm.
However, screens and artificial lighting such as fluorescent and LED bulbs also emit blue light. Blue light is made up of short wavelengths which affect the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is involved in regulating your body clock.
Therefore, too much exposure to blue light in the evening can disrupt your body clock resulting in poor sleep.
As people spend more time looking at screens in the evening, the risk to their health is increasing. So how do you protect yourself from blue light at night? Here are our top five tips:
1. Reduce screen time before bed
In order to reduce the amount of blue light you’re exposed to in the evening, turn off your screens at least one hour before you go to bed. This includes televisions, smartphones, computers, iPads and any other devices.
2. Limit fluorescent and LED bulbs
To minimise the amount of blue light emitted from fluorescent and LED lighting, replace ‘cool-white’ or ‘blue-white’ light bulbs with ‘warm-white’ ones. Some light bulbs have a colour temperature marked on them. Choose a ‘warm-coloured’ temperature between 2,700K and 3,000K.
3. Use a blue light blocking app
There are lots of apps available on the market to download. The apps work by placing a warm coloured overlay on the screen after sunset to change its colour temperature.
4. Wear blue light filtering glasses
Glasses that filter blue light can be bought separately or you can get special blue light filtering lenses added to your current glasses.
5. Adjust the settings on your screen
Many devices have a blue light filter or night shift setting which alters the colour balance to reduce the amount of blue light you’re exposed to.