Having trouble falling asleep at night? Texting, late-night emails and checking the latest Facebook news feed may be at fault. Even though watching YouTube or Netflix may seem to calm you down, the blue light that your smartphone emits is actually disrupting your body’s circadian rhythm.
The iPhone uses a combination of white screen and blue-based lighting that is suited for daytime use, but it can wreak havoc on your internal clock when used at night. Apple has responded by adding a new feature called Night Shift to iOS 9.3. Users can turn on Night Shift by going to Settings>Display & Brightness>toggle the Blue Light Reduction to On. You can even schedule Night Shift to come on automatically.
Too much screen time is not only bad for your sleep, but it is also harmful to your eyesight. Digital eye strain is a phrase that was unheard of a decade ago, yet it is all too commonplace now. Limiting children’s screen time is now a subject that comes up in the pediatrician’s office or in an eye doctor appointment, making it apparent that all age groups are addicted to electronics. David Epley, a pediatric ophthalmologist in Kirkland, Washington, is a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Epley emphasizes that excessive screen time reduces our blink rate and can cause eye irritation and strain, which negatively impacts vision.
We live in a digital age, but we can prevent vision loss for ourselves and our children by implementing some self-control and adding a night filter for our smartphones. For all Android users or for those of you who do not have access to Night Shift (which is currently in beta), just go to your app store and search “blue light filter.” Some popular choices are Koala Web Browser, Brightness Cut, or Blue Light Cut Browser. Blue light and digital eye strain are not just myths; they do real harm to your vision. The 20-20-20 Rule is an easy way to remind yourself that every 20 minutes, you should take a break and look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds (Source: Silicon Angle).