Blue light filter: is it useful?
In the modern world, more and more blue light is found, for example, in displays, as well as in LEDs and energy-saving lamps. By itself, blue light is not harmful: in nature, we see it as often as in gadgets. In the past, it has even been used to treat depression as a natural antidepressant.
However, this mood-boosting factor can also be a problem for you if you’re going to bed at night. The human body is highly dependent on light. When the sun goes down, we begin to produce the hormone melatonin, which leads to sleep. The blue light in the displays is very bright for the human eye, it signals the body that it is too early to sleep.
If you’re still exposed to blue light after sunset, your body doesn’t release melatonin, causing you to stay awake. Studies have shown that those who use their phone or tablet for a long time just before bedtime take longer to fall asleep (25 minutes) than those who read books (15 minutes) in the control group.
Is there any benefit from light filters, and how bad is blue light for the eyes?
On a mobile phone, blue light filters are used to reduce the amount of blue light. Similar filters exist for both Android smartphones and iPhones. But how necessary is it? There are international guidelines for the amount of blue light on screens, but for a mobile phone display, this value is about a hundred times lower. Even scientists who have analyzed the benefits of blue-light spectacle lenses have not been able to find a positive effect on eye health in practice.
But can blue light lead to sleep disturbances?
The effectiveness of blue light filters for the prevention of sleep disorders has not been proven. Some studies show that blue light results in less melatonin release than normal light. There have been case studies that prove this fact, but there have been other studies that have failed to establish such a connection.
Therefore, further extensive research is needed. But one thing is clear – a smartphone or tablet emits more light than a reading lamp, and therefore, after sticking to gadgets, we stay awake longer.
From a scientific point of view, it can be argued that the use of a blue light filter, even if its effectiveness has not yet been fully proven, makes sense, at least before bed. In any case, it won’t get any worse.
For most phones, the blue light filter can be turned on in the settings. This is often referred to as night mode or eye protection mode. It is best to set it in such a way that it correlates with sunrise and sunset. If you’re using a smartphone that doesn’t already have a blue light filter, there are plenty of apps like Twilight for Android that will create one for you.
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