I like to use my laptop and phone in the evening. But, about two months ago, I noticed that after watching a few YouTube videos, I felt more awake rather than sleepier! I wondered why this was happening. I recalled hearing something about a blue light filter being healthy to use for screens at night, so I tried it. I installed an app for a blue light filter on my laptop, and I began using it every evening, starting at 8 pm – one hour before my (not always realistic) bedtime. Guess what?! It worked! I now feel tired when it is time to go to sleep, instead of more awake.
I wanted to know why, exactly, the blue light filter worked, so I did some research. I discovered that not all wavelengths have the same affect on the body. Blue light, in particular, causes alertness by supressing melatonin – a hormone that influences your sleep-wake cycle. The sun produces blue light, which makes sense since we are supposed to be awake when the sun is shining and we can see! However, when we use the artificial blue light produced by screens at night, it keeps supressing our melatonin production, and we stay alert – just like I experienced.
There are plenty of apps for blocking blue light. I encourage you do find one that you like using, and block the blue light at night!