We’ve said for years that using your electronic devices before bed (or worse, while you’re in bed) is a really bad idea. The reason for this is that screens like the ones on smartphone, tablets, computers, and even televisions emit blue light, which has been shown to be a trigger to your brain that it’s time to wake up. While it’s still a really bad idea to use your phone at night, the manufacturers of these devices are starting to wake up and try to fix the problem.
Enter “Night Shift,” for Apples iOS devices. You can trigger it manually or have it go on at a certain time every night. For instructions, check out this article. Basically, it shifts the color spectrum on your phone to remove at least some of the blue light. While there hasn’t been much research on how much Night Shift helps you sleep if you must use your phone before bed, at minimum the shift in color is much easier on your eyes. In case you were wondering, there are apps for Android devices that duplicate what Night Shift accomplishes.
So, if you use Night Shift, is it now okay to go crazy staring at your “screens” before going to bed? Not really. Even with the blue light removed, use of a device like a smartphone can excite your brain and make it hard to settle down to sleep. Additionally, keeping your phone handy while you’re trying to sleep can make it very tempting to check email, texts, or social media. It’s still the best plan to stop using your device at least an hour before bed, and keep it out of the bedroom while you’re trying to sleep.
For a good look at how blue light affects your brain, check out this graphic from Tech Insider: