Blue Light May Be Disrupting Your Vision and Sleep
Smart phones…tablets…laptops…desktop computers…
Digital devices connect us to friends, family, news, work and entertainment. On the surface, that is great; however, too much of a good thing might be detrimental in this case.
Digital devices emit flickering blue light: a high-energy visible light that is also emitted from the sun. In small doses, blue light may not affect you at all. But studies have shown that the typical person age 16 to 45 will spend nearly 7 hours a day looking at a digital screen. That’s a lot of blue light exposure. In fact, some estimate that people may spend more time looking at screens than sleeping.
Overexposure to blue light can lead to:
- Digital eye strain (blurry vision, sore eyes, dry eyes)
- Sleep disruption
- Increase in nearsightedness in children
To minimize the negative effects of blue light exposure, try these simple tips:
- Take a break from your screen every 20 minutes (set your alarm!): look away for 20 seconds at a distance of 20 feet
- Avoid looking at your digital devices 1 hour before bedtime: blue light can disrupt your sleep/wake cycle
- Use blue light filtering glasses: you can purchase prescription or non-prescription glasses to wear when you are using digital devices
- Blink often: remember to blink when you are using your digital device
- Turn down the light: set your screen brightness to a lower setting so it is not so harsh
- Monitor your kids’ usage: make sure your kids are well-rounded, getting plenty of outdoor activity and quality sleep
It is not realistic to remove digital devices from our daily lives, but you can make strides to protect your family’s vision and overall health by being aware of the hazards that exist and making small changes.