Eyeing up developments to avoid being a light sleeper

Post on 3rd February 2016

Technology has changed and improved the way we live in so many ways, but looking at screens for too long without a break is not great for our eye health.

With the growing dependence on mobile phones, tablets and computers for work and leisure it’s not easy to restrict our viewing or to keep track of how much time we spend staring at such screens and putting strain on our eyes.

It’s not just our eyes that are potentially at risk, there is a growing awareness that using smartphones and tablets late at night could affect sleep patterns too because of exposure to the bright blue light produced by modern LCD displays.

With this is mind, Apple is bringing out a new version of its mobile operating system iOS 9.3 which includes a feature called Night Shift. This app will use the device’s clock and geolocation to determine what time the sun sets and will automatically change the phone’s display colour to the warmer or redder end of the light spectrum until the following morning.

Studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect our circadian rhythms – our body clock if you like – and make it harder to fall asleep.

It’s not just a case of perhaps feeling tired and grumpy the next day; sleep is of course important for our general health.

Human retinas are especially sensitive to short-wave blue light so our advice is to be sensible in not only how long you spend looking at your screens but also how late into the night you do so.

Developments such as Apple’s, which draw attention to the issue, are to be welcomed but avoiding the use of such devices as long as possible before bed is a better solution.

If you have any concerns about your eyesight please visit your nearest Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care branch. To find your nearest branch visit our homepage.