Hacking Your Light Environment
In a previous post on circadian rhythm we covered the effects of blue light on your circadian rhythm and how, at the wrong time of day, it can have negative effects on your health. This post will cover a couple very effective Biohacks which can be used for a great night's sleep as well as improved overall wellbeing.
#1 Limit blue light on devices at least 2 hours before bedtime
While the obvious solution to this is to not use any devices before bed, this is not always an option. Luckily there are a few hacks you can use.
Apple has a little neat little add-on in the newer iOs versions (11 and up I believe). It allows you to turn your screen red at the simple shorthand of a ‘triple click’.
1- Go to ‘Settings’ 2- ‘General’ 3- ‘Accessibility ‘
4- ‘Display Accomodations’ 5- 'Colour (not color #RSA) Filters'
6- 'Colour Tint' at full Intensity and Hue
Now to make it a shortcut:
7- Head back to ‘Accessibility' and, right at the bottom, go to 'accessibility shortcut'
8- Select 'Colour Filters'
Triple click your home button and it should toggle between a normal screen and the red one.
For those who don’t have an iPhone, there is still hope:
An app called Twilight is available from the Android store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.urbandroid.lux&hl=en
For any laptops or tablets there are two apps you can use:
1- F.lux https://justgetflux.com/
or 2- Iris (my favourite): https://iristech.co/
Iris has a couple of different settings you can play around with, and I find it blocks the most blue out of all the apps when using ‘Sleep’ mode.
#2 Limiting blue light exposure from light bulbs
This hack serves a dual purpose. It reduces the blue light exposure to your eyes as well as sets the mood…
You guessed it, CANDLES!!
This is surprisingly effective when you use enough of them. You can also use a really cheap hack, called a vino glow, courtesy of Dr. Jack Kruse.
#3 Blue blockers
Blue blocking glasses have become a lot more trendy in recent years. Compare:
Featured - RedPanda 'Sirius'
Wearing glasses like these in the hours before bed have can have a tremendous impact on your sleep, and thus your overall health. As a student, I used to find that the headaches and brain fog associated with long computer work completely disappeared when I woreblue blockers.
One precaution with these is not to use them as driving glasses at night. The risk from reduced visibility in poor lit areas may not outweigh the health benefits here.
Overall, these glasses are probably the best buy and greatest health hack I could recommend!
If you have any other suggestions on mitigating the negative effects of blue light please drop them in the comments below. Otherwise, sleep tight!