Monday, September 15, 2014

We've all got the blues

When I did my 100 book challenge last year, I would occasionally (and accidentally) get a large print book from the library. I'd crack it open, see all the large typeface and think, "Wow. That's kind of nice."

My husband, who has perfect vision, would claim to be able to read the book from across the room.

What I'm saying is that I don't have great eyesight, so I try to be really careful with my vision. And that would explain now why I am starting to avoid blue light at night.

You are all familiar with blue light - it's the ultra bright light that emanates from our computer screens, tablets and smartphones. It's what makes our devices so easy to see in the dark. And it is really messing up our vision.

Most of us are already aware that we are supposed to restrict screen time at night, but maybe we don't understand why. It turns out that the light that falls on the blue spectrum actually inhibits the production of melatonin. And, as we all remember, melatonin is that wonder hormone that helps us sleep at night, as well as lowers our risk of developing certain cancers.

And this is what I think about now when I see my son hold an iPad 6 inches away from his face. What is all that bright blue light doing to his eyes?

Hooked on blue light already? Here are some steps we can take to combat the effects:
  • Cut back on night use of your devices. Yes, I know this is hard, but try.
  • Consider buying different bulbs for your rooms - ones with blue light in the rooms you need to wake up in (the bathroom) and ones with amber light for those you need to sleep in (the bedroom).
  • Put your device in bedtime mode to dial back the blue.
Maybe just try it for a week: No device use two hours before bedtime. See if you fall asleep faster and sleep better or not. It could be an interesting personal experiment. 

What time do you put your device to bed at night? Tell me in the comments.

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