During the day, blue light exposure from sunlight wakes us up, boosts alertness and elevates our mood. But too much exposure to blue light, particularly late at night from computers, phones and tablets, can throw off our natural wakefulness and sleep cycle, also known as circadian rhythm. This can lead to sleepless nights and daytime fatigue.
Eyes are particularly sensitive to the type of blue light emitted from screens. This can cause conditions like dry eyes, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. Too much exposure to blue light can also lead to eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, insomnia and other health-related issues.
Protect yourself from too much blue light:
- Limit your screen time 2–3 hours before you go to bed. Most phones have a display and brightness setting for nighttime use. This feature filters out blue light by altering your screen to warmer color.
- Use the “20-20-20” rule. If your job requires you to be in front of a screen for long periods of time, prevent eye strain by taking regular breaks. Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- Consider wearing blue-blocking glasses that absorb or block blue light. You can find blue-blocking glasses where glasses and frames are sold, plus they are available online and at most major retailers. You can also install an app on your computer that filters out the blue/green wavelength at night, particularly if you work a night shift or must use electronic devices at night.
- Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day. This will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during the day.
- Talk to your doctor about the right eye wear for your lifestyle. If you’ve had a procedure like cataract surgery, you might benefit from eyeglasses that have lenses with a special blue light filter.
Looking for information on screen time, especially among children? Read this article with 10 tactics to limit screen time.