Why you sleep poorly after bright screens at night.

Do you ever find yourself glued to a computer monitor / iPad / TV at night? It’s like the mind is persuading you not to go to bed.

Watching TV or working on your computer at night messes with your sleep. You’ll find difficulty falling asleep, and you might wake up groggy due to shifted sleep cycles.

Your body is smart and and works on circadian rhythms, your daily cycle. When night time approaches and the light levels are low, it signals to your body to naturally produce melatonin in order to encourage sleep. Bright light entering your eyes hampers the production of melatonin, and therefore your body assumes it’s not really night time.

Computer solution

I use f.lux. f.lux automatically changes the light temperature of my screen in order to remove the harsh daylight blue, and replace it with a more soothing red. It stays on automatically and detects sunrise / sundown. I use it, and had an easier time going to bed when working late.

On the bed

I like to read in bed before going to sleep, but I’ll read a book. A book does not have a bright screen. If I’m using an e-reader device, I’ll set the brightness to very low. In addition, I’ll turn on night mode so that the background is black and the words are white. A TV in the bed room is a big offender.

In a nutshell

  • Bright screens such as TVs, smartphones, tablets, and computers at night will affect your sleep negatively.
  • If you must use a computer, use software like f.lux.
  • If you read in bed, read a book. If you use an e-reader, use night mode and dim the screen’s brightness.

Originally published at www.basicdrop.com on August 9, 2015.

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Nikita Kazakov
Nikita Kazakov

Software Developer and Product Owner.