Use your phone/tablet in bed? STOP and read this…
If you use your phone/tablet in bed you’re putting your health at risk. Have you noticed that you can easily waste an hour or 2 browsing pointless things before you sleep?
Researchers have discovered that bright light (especially blue light) is harmful to the body. This is because it disrupts the body’s natural function of producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. Extended disruption can lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Recently I discovered an app for my phone (OnePlus One running Android) called Twilight (nothing to do with vampires). Here’s what the app does from its Google Play page:
Are you having troubles to fall asleep? Are your kids hyperactive when playing with the tablet before bed time?
Are you using your smart phone or tablet in the late evening? Twilight may be a solution for you!
Recent research suggests that exposure to blue light before sleep may distort your natural (circadian) rhythm and cause inability to fall asleep.
The cause is the photoreceptor in your eyes, called Melanopsin. This receptor is sensitive to a narrow band of blue light in the 460-480nm range which may suppress Melatonin production – a hormone responsible for your healthy sleep-wake cycles.
In experimental scientific studies it has been shown an average person reading on a tablet or smart phone for a couple of hours before bed time may find their sleep delayed by about an hour.
The Twilight app makes your device screen adapt to the time of the day. It filters the flux of blue light emitted by your phone or tablet after sunset and protects your eyes with a soft and pleasant red filter. The filter intensity is smoothly adjusted to the sun cycle based on your local sunset and sunrise times.
Get more from Twilight
1) Bed reading: Twilight is more pleasant on the eyes for night reading. Especially as it is able to lower the screen backlight far below the ability of the backligt controls on your screen
2) AMOLED screens: We have tested Twilight on an AMOLED screen for 2.5 years without any sign of depletion or over-burning. If properly configured Twilight causes less light emission (by enabling dimming) with more equal light distribution (dark areas of the screen such as the status bar get tinted). This may in fact increase your AMOLED screen life time.
I’ve used this app for a week or two and have found that my bedtime browsing has reduced dramatically and I’m finding it much easier to get to sleep. My wife has also installed the app and finds it has helped her.
There’s a similar app on iOS called f.lux (https://justgetflux.com). I’ve not tried this, but from what I’ve seen it has similar functionality.
To sum up, this app is staying on my phone indefinitely.