Smartphones Don’t Make Good Bedtime Pals: Take It Down A Notch!

Posted Nov 3, 2016
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We are a generation that just does not know when to keep our phones down. We spend hours on end looking at our phone screens for every other notification that pops up. It is addicting, we all know it. We all do it. But as tempting as it may seem, smartphone lights are extremely bad for us.

Our body has a natural cycle of rest that it follows through the night in order to enable us to fully function the next day. But every time we pick up the phone and scroll down on social sites, our brain just riles up and gets confused. Research shows that the smartphone light, particularly its blue light has this effect on our brains. It is a similar effect which one experiences when there’s a sudden flash of morning sunlight in our eyes: it causes the melatonin level in our brains to decrease.

Here’s a chart from Business Insider which shows us how it works:

Managing the blue light

It is inevitable. We are bound to pick up the phone at least once before going to sleep. It is an unfortunate habit. Which is why, most of the smartphone companies are taking some responsibility for this and trying to resolve this problem through their technology.

One such example is the iOS 10’s Night Shift Blue Light Filter. It is a mode which changes the color that comes out of the screen. Apple claims that the phone automatically changes its settings to adapt the screen lights when it gets completely dark in the room. For that you would have to go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift. It will give you a toggle option which you can turn on or off to whether you want to adjust it manually or automatically. You can also use its Scheduler to adjust the time frame on which you want the Night Shift to be on and off.

Google Pixel has also introduced a similar feature by the name of Night Light. It pretty much helps cut down the amount of blue light being emitted from the screen. You pull down the notification shade, tap the small pencil icon on the screen, move the Night Light at a reasonable location on the shade so it is always within reach, press on it long enough to turn it on and set its schedule. Again, you can adjust whether to do that manually or on auto-mode.

Above all, one must not forget that we should have this self-control to be able to just not look at our screens for at least that one time of the day, when we’re getting ready for bed.

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