Here’s what happened when I blocked blue light from my phone
Sleep – it’s always been difficult for me. It’s not that I’m not tired at the end of the day or anything. Goodness knows that I am.
My problem is racing thoughts and trying to switch off my brain off when it’s time to get my Z’s. On most nights, I find myself staring at my smartphone, getting lost in an episode of Law and Order or some documentary that I can find on Netflix.
In between, I’m also surfing around the web and visiting my favorite websites. Maybe you can relate?
Anyway, what ends up happening is that I fall asleep way too late, only to wake up the next day in a groggy haze. And I’m not even going to tell you about how baggy my eyes look; something I try to address with my skincare regimen.
Recently, I got to chatting with Adina Mahalli, MSW about this problem. She’s a certified mental health expert with Maple Holistics.
According to Adina, iPhones, like most smart devices, emit a blue light that can interfere with sleep. Apparently, the little diodes in the back of the phone broadcast this invisible light automatically.
Blue Lights and Smartphones
I’m no scientist but the way I understand it, there’s something about blue light that stimulates certain parts of the brain in ways that can keep you up. In fact, some research suggests that blue light can even exacerbate anxiety.
At any rate, I learned that all of us have a natural “ebb and flow” pattern related to sleep called a circadian rhythm. Think of it as your internal body clock.
Have you ever noticed that you automatically wake up around the same time each morning? Conversely, do you start getting drowsy around the same time each night? Does it seem like your energy levels have specific highs and lows throughout the day?
If so, that’s your circadian rhythm; mother nature’s regulator.
I’m sharing some of the science with you because it turns out that blue light has been clinically shown to mess up your sleep. By this, I’m talking about things like not being able to fall asleep or developing hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness).
I don’t know about you, but in my case, poor sleep causes me all sorts of problems – like having a crappy mood and even reducing my libido (see this post on increasing semen volume).
Obviously, there are other factors to consider as part of developing a healthy sleep cycle. You know what I’m talking about, right?
Things like not eating too late at night, watching sugar intake and creating a bedtime ritual (i.e., brushing your teeth, going to bed around the same time each evening).
Still, even when doing the things described above consistently, subjecting yourself to excessive blue light can sabotage your efforts.
“Try turning off your blue light and see what happens,” Adina suggested.
What happened when I turned off my blue light?
Taking her advice, I decided to activate my iPhone’s “True Tone” feature to block the blue. The process was easy enough. I merely went to settings, tapped on “Display and Brightness” and tapped again on “Night Shift”.
To simplify things, I set True Tone to flip on automatically between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am.
So, you are probably wondering what happened? Well, I’ll tell ya. Starting on the very first night, I immediately noticed a change.
Somewhere around 11 pm, I started to yawn and become drowsy. While I don’t remember the specifics, I’m pretty sure that I fell asleep shortly later.
That’s a BIG improvement from going to bed at 1 am, don’t you think?
On the second night, almost the same thing happened. And for the most part – for the rest of the week – it was pretty much the same experience. I fell asleep around the same time and was out for the entire night. Each morning, I awoke refreshed and ready to go.
Remember, I didn’t change anything else on my end. Yep, I still watched shows on my phone and surfed the web. But I have to say that reducing/blocking that blue light made a huge difference.
In talking to Adina, I also found out that most televisions and computer screens emit blue light too. I asked her about options for these kinds of things because most don’t have a “True Tone” feature.
What I found out was this – you can buy Amber glasses that block the damaging blue light, regardless of where that light comes from. So, if you are watching T.V. at night, putting on a pair of the amber shades may be a viable option.
Well, there you have it, folks – my experience with turning off my phone’s blue light and its impact on my sleep. I have to say that it has made a world of difference!
If you struggle with sleep, I highly encourage you to think about what I’ve shared here and try for yourself.
To learn more about turning off the blue light on your phone or pad, here is a “How To” article from Digital Trends that breaks it all down by device.
I hope what I’ve shared here was helpful. Thanks for stopping by.