Blue light protection is almost a necessity nowadays.
I mean, what would we even do without all of our devices to relax and unwind in the evening?
Sleep better, maybe?
It’s almost as if we have to choose one or the other.
Anyone who has ever tried going to sleep too soon after spending time staring at a glowing screen probably knows this all too well.
The truth is, we can make compromises with our beloved electronic devices without giving them up completely during that hour or so before we decide to turn in.
Here are a few blue light protection tips you can use to keep your technology in your evening routine without it interfering with your sleep cycle.
Tip #1: Install a blue light blocker on anything with a screen.
Most of today’s modern laptop computers and mobile devices automatically adjust the brightness of their screens in response to the amount of light it detects in its environment.
That’s all well and good for when you don’t want to be blinded by the screen in a dark room, but it doesn’t do anything to block out the blue light that it emits, and blue light is known to confuse our body clocks in a way that can delay sleep onset.
F.lux is a popular, free program available for the most common computer operating systems like Mac and Windows plus mobile devices (iOS/Android), which tints the lighting of your screen according to the time.
I personally use it on my Mac and think it’s great.
Tip #2: Get a pair of blue light-blocking eye glasses.
To get as much blue light protection as possible from electronics and devices where you can’t use a built-in or preinstalled blue light blocker, you need another solution.
This is where investing in a pair of amber-tinted eye glasses becomes worth it.
You can find them for as low as $10 on Amazon.
Many are now designed to look like real glasses (as opposed to big, bulky construction-like glasses) without the extremely harsh amber tint, so you can go about your business as normal.
It’s a small sacrifice to make if you enjoy using your electronic devices late at night.
Tip #3: Get in the habit of using your devices in any room other than your bedroom.
Your bedroom should be a place of relaxation.
Bringing electronic devices into the bedroom turns it into a place of mental stimulation and stress that can keep you awake.
Not only that, but having your laptop, smartphone, TV and any other device within reach of your bed makes it too tempting to resist.
Try 30 days of a device-free bedroom just to see how much your sleep improves.
Tip #4: Whatever you do, don’t use technology for work before bedtime.
Watching a funny sitcom on TV or playing sudoku on your tablet is fine if it relaxes you and helps you wind down after a busy day.
Checking email or trying to catch up on that deadline, however, is going to put you in work mode and will make it more difficult for your mind to relax if you do it right before going to bed.
If you must do work in the evening, make sure you have at least an hour or two before bed to detach from work and relax.
Tip #5: Limit your technology use to one device only.
Do you ever find yourself watching TV, browsing your laptop and texting someone on your phone simultaneously?
It’s time to stop multitasking.
All of that stimulation is bad for your brain, much more stressful than relaxing, and completely counterproductive anyway.
If you’re going to watch TV, then just do that.
If you’re going to browse the web on your laptop, then just do that.
If you’re going to look at Facebook on your smartphone, then just do that.
Use one device at a time, and nothing more!
Tip #6: Set an alarm to remind yourself of your cut-off time.
It’s easy to get carried away with technology.
Before you know it, it’s past midnight, you’re six episodes into that new Netflix series and you have to be up in five hours.
Having an alarm set to go off automatically every night at the exact time that you want to start getting ready for bed is a helpful way to practice self-control when you’re easily consumed.
Tip #7: Don’t sleep with or near your phone!
A lot of people convince themselves that they absolutely must keep their smartphones in their bedrooms (or even directly in their beds) because they need to use the alarm feature to wake themselves up in the morning.
But this only creates a situation where it’s too easy to mindlessly browse first thing in the morning.
Keep your charging station in the living room or kitchen to avoid this and get an inexpensive alarm clock to wake you up.
After all, that’s what they’re for!
Follow These Blue Light Protection Tips Like Your Sleep Depends On It
Technology and sleep don’t really mix that well, but they’re fine when boundaries are set.
Experiment with the above tips to see which ones make the biggest difference in improving your sleep quality.
Got any other blue light protection tips or habits to adopt to help get a better night’s sleep?
Be sure to let me know in the comments!