A person uses their phone at night.

You’re in bed, checking social media on your phone, when your screen gets darker and redder. You have night mode set on your phone, which you heard is better at night. But is it? If so, what does it do for you?

A blue light bonanza

Sumit Gupta, MD

“Blue light is important during the day as it improves attention, reaction times, and mood,” CEENTA Ophthalmologist Sumit Gupta, MD, said. “At night, however, this is disruptive to sleep.”

Smartphones, tablets, and other devices give off a lot of blue light. Blue light wakes us up and stimulates us by preventing the brain from producing melatonin. This is the same reaction our body has when it sees the sun.

Blue light can also cause eye strain, especially in a dark room, which can leave your eyes feeling dry and tired. Your vision may also get blurry.

While blue light doesn’t cause any permanent damage, limiting your exposure at night will make it easier to fall asleep and your eyes will feel more comfortable.

Night mode is the right mode

Fortunately, smart devices now offer several options for limiting your exposure. Reader View on iPhones, for example, allow you to declutter webpages and at the same time change the background to black and text to white, instead of black text on a white background. Some apps, like Twitter, offer a night mode option, which allows you to make the same background/text changes.

Also, some devices allow you to set a timer, so the color of your screen takes on a red hue. Both options reduce the brightness of your screen and minimize the amount of blue light you see, which helps with both your sleep and eye strain.

Shut them down

Of course, the best thing to do is to turn off your devices, or decrease your use with “Do Not Disturb” mode, at least an hour before bed. This lets your body adjust naturally to night hours and will help you fall asleep when you should.

As important as smart devices our to our daily lives, proper sleep and care for our eyes is even more important. And remember, if you have eye strain or another eye issue that adjusting your phone won’t take care of, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a CEENTA eye doctor.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. Dr. Gupta practices in our University office. To make an appointment with him or any of CEENTA’s eye doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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