How Can I Stop Blue Light From Hurting My Sleep?
Dr. Wu and Dr. Buenaver suggested a few ways to deal with the sleep issues created by blue light. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling Instagram or clicking yet another video as it gets closer to bedtime, try a few of these techniques to keep your sleep cycle on track:
- Enable your device's "night mode" function. Your phone or laptop's "night mode" or "dark mode" filters out the blue light from your screen. "It makes your screen look kind of orange-ish. Make sure to enable that," Dr. Wu said, if you're going to looking at your screen close to bedtime.
- Use blue light-filtering glasses. If your screen doesn't have a night mode function, both doctors said that blue light-filtering glasses work in the same way. Here are 10 blue light glasses you can try.
- Dim any ambient lighting. Since regular light exposure can also suppress melatonin, Dr. Wu recommended dimming your overhead lights more and more as you get closer to bedtime. This might mean moving from the well-lit living room to your darker bedroom, or switching from an overhead light to a smaller reading light. This can help bring your circadian rhythm back on track.
- Put down your phone or computer at least 30 minutes before bed. This is the hardest one, we know. "Everyone's always connected to their devices," Dr. Wu said. "But usually we recommend at least at least a 30-minute or one-hour wind-down period, if possible." Dr. Buenaver recommended trying for a two-hour window; more of a challenge, but something you could work your way up to in time.