You probably know that looking at your phone at night is a bad idea. Smartphones emit luminous blue light so you can see the display, even on the sunniest days. However, your brain gets confused by blue light at night, as those azure emissions actually mimic the the sun. Makes sense, right?
Until now, iPhone gave you no choice but to abandon your phone hours before bed or stay up to toss and turn – but the recent iOS 9.3 update changes all that. The new Night Shift mode can be set up manually each night at an hour of your choosing (depending on your schedule for that day) or it can be automatic.
When Night Shift sets in, your phone auto-adjusts the screen display, so that it gives off warmer light, with 50% less blue emissions. Blue light signals to the brain to halt a hormone that gives your body the “sleepy time“ prompts. Disrupting the sleep cycle causes a pattern of it being harder to fall and stay asleep — and there’s a slew of serious potential effects on your body for the long-term. Here’s how blue light at night affects your brain:
Disruption of sleep can leave you distracted the next day, making it harder to learn new tasks and disrupt memory. Chronic sleep debt causes neurotoxin buildup. Melatonin levels become suppressed and hunger hormones get disrupted, so people are more prone to depression and obesity, (the latter can lead certain cancers.) Current studies are also being done to examine a link to possible cataracts and retinal abnormalities.
Don’t Be Blue.
Scientists figured out a while back that the timing of blue light exposure was important. In 2014, Researchers at Northwestern University decided to study evening blue light exposure and how it effects hunger, metabolic hormones and sleepiness.
So they studied a group of healthy adults who had ‘regular’ sleep and eating schedules(that, in and of itself, deserves a study!) For 4 days, researchers gave them and compared what happened to theses participants when they ate identical meals while exposed to enriched blue light in the evening vs being exposed to dim light.
Turns Out You Don’t Have To Watch The Cooking Channel To Get Hungry.
By measuring blood glucose and insulin levels, scientists determined that exposure to blue light led to an increase in hunger after just 15 minutes of exposure and get this, was still present 1.75 hours later! Yikes! And, blood levels showed altered glucoses metabolism(that doesn’t sound like a good thing) and decreased levels of sleepiness(also not a good thing a night)
So, the researchers concluded “ Blue-enriched light exposure immediately before, and during the evening meal acutely increases hunger . . . “
I’m Hungry, Therefore I Eat.
Turn off the screens so that light has no chance of tweaking your natural hunger. Northwestern did a follow-up study on blue light and hunger – See the link below.
Orange is the New Blue.
Meanwhile, SaferTech offers another option to battle the blues: Our orange glasses for nighttime wear (also known as blue blockers.) A Swiss study examined a dozen teen boys wearing orange-tinted glasses in the evening for a week. The boys reported they felt “significantly more sleepy” as compared to when they wore clear glasses. Similarly, it appears that blue light affects kids and young adults the most, due to changes in the older adult eye anatomy.
Safertech tips for a Good Nights Sleep.:
Start making reducing blue light 2-3 hours before bed
Invest in a pair of orange-tinted glasses and keep them bedside
Install the newest iOS and give Nightshift a whirl
Change your bedroom lighting to LED lights that are more warm tones
Use screens that are not backlit like some e-readers
The TV is preferable to reading on your phone or tablet because it is farther away
Be mindful of how close your iPhone reading is done and set yourself evening time limits on small devices
Turn your screen light level down altogether and perhaps invest in a blue-blocking film that goes over your tablet screen.
At the very least, these new habits are pleasant change to your lifestyle and your eyes will feel a little less stressed. Go ahead, try our tips and let us know what you think!
Morning and Evening Blue-Enriched Light Exposure Alters Metabolic Function in Normal Weight Adults - http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155601