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Wellness Tip

Cut the Blue Light at Night

by Berkeley Wellness  

If you have sleep problems and often use a digital device during the hours before bedtime, see if it has a night mode setting and turn it on. This setting limits blue light exposure by shifting the colors of the display to the warmer end of the color spectrum.

Blue light from sunlight and most device screens can boost alertness by reducing the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps trigger sleep. The benefit of limiting blue light at night was seen in a small study in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics in July 2017, in which participants (ages 17 to 42) wore special yellow-tinted, blue-light-blocking glasses (Uvex) for four hours before bedtime. After two weeks, they had a nearly 60 percent increase in nighttime melatonin levels, increased their sleep duration, and reported better sleep quality.

Besides limiting screen time in the evening, setting devices to night mode, and wearing special computer eyeglasses, another way to reduce blue-light exposure is to apply blue-light filters to your screens. There are also apps that warm up the color temperature of the monitor between sunset and sunrise, based on your time zone; the time and color levels are adjustable. A free copy of one can be downloaded here.

Also see 15+ Sleep Remedies.