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Use electronics before bed? Read this!

29 August, 2017

As I mentioned in last week’s blog post exposure to the blue light emitted by electronics inhibits melatonin production which means that our body doesn’t get the signal that it’s time to sleep1–3. I don’t know about you, but I find lying in bed not being able to sleep super frustrating!

The most obvious way you can reduce this impact is by switching off those electronics before bed. This has the added bonus of reducing all that sensory input and allowing your brain and body a chance to wind down4.

If you really must use your computer/phone/TV before bed there are a few things you can do to help minimise the effects of the blue light on your sleep.

◊ Download f.lux to your computer
f.lux automatically changes the colour of your computer’s display at sunset to a warm orange tone.

◊ Turn on the night mode setting on your phone
Similar to f.lux, turning on the night mode setting on your phone will automatically change the colour of the display at the time you specify.

◊ Invest in some blue blocking glasses
Admittedly I haven’t actually tried these but I have heard good things and plan on investing in some soon. The added benefit of wearing these glasses over just using f.lux or night mode is that they reduce your exposure to blue light from all other artificial light sources not just your computer or phone. Plus they’ll make you look super stylish!
This pair is said to block over 90% of blue-light and is the most reasonably priced I’ve seen.

Ready to reduce your blue light exposure and fall asleep easily?

Your Empowered Actions

Switch off before bed. If you’re used to using electronics right up until bedtime start by setting an alarm that will remind you to switch off 30 minutes before bed. You might then like to work up to 1-2 hours before.

Download f.lux to your computer

Turn on the night-mode setting on your phone

Invest in some blue-light blocking glasses

“Take what you need and leave the rest”

Would you like some more personalised suggestions and support when it comes to sleep?

References
1. Duffy, J. F. & Czeisler, C. A. Effect of light on human circadian physiology. Sleep Med. Clin. 4, 165–177 (2009).
2. Gooley, J. J. et al. Exposure to room light before bedtime suppresses melatonin onset and shortens melatonin duration in humans. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 96, E463-72 (2011).
3. Figueiro, M. G., Wood, B., Plitnick, B. & Rea, M. S. The impact of light from computer monitors on melatonin levels in college students. Neuro Endocrinol. Lett. 32, 158–63 (2011).
4. Sleep.org. How technology impacts sleep quality. Available at: https://sleep.org/articles/ways-technology-affects-sleep/. (Accessed: 22nd August 2017)

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