How blue light affects sleep

Schlafprobleme: Wie Blaulicht den Schlaf beeinflusst

We have them with us almost all the time – our mobile devices. Even the bedroom is not off limits for our smart­phones, laptops and game consoles. How does this affect the quality of our sleep?

Blue light dispels tiredness

The screens on devices like televisions, laptops and smartphones have LED backlighting, a form of light with a similar structure to daylight. The blue light it contains informs the brain that it's still daylight and therefore not yet time to emit the sleep-inducing melatonin. As a result, the brain remains active, and this delays the process of winding down and falling asleep.

Blue light filter as protection

To prevent this, some smartphones have a blue light filter that you can activate in the evening. Another way of avoiding the disturbing blue light is to simply stop looking at a screen about an hour before going to bed.

Avoid screen radiation

If you are electrosensitive, the radiation can also affect your sleep quality. Even if scientists have yet to deliver conclusive proof, it can be beneficial to sleep if electronic devices are banned from the bedroom.

Lack of relaxation

Often, it’s not the light or radiation alone that stops us from falling asleep. Quickly reading a few emails in bed means that the brain has to process this information. Again, this process prevents us from falling asleep.

Smartphones in particular can be a major distraction. The temptation to quickly read something on Google or send a message is too great when our smartphone lies conveniently on the bedside table. In the worst case, a notification tone can even wake you just as you’re dozing off.

Even if scientists have yet to deliver conclusive proof, it can be beneficial to sleep if electronic devices are banned from the bedroom.
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Helpful tips on media use

For people with sleeping problems, it's well worth trying to ban mobile devices from the bedroom altogether and do something relaxing before bed instead.

  1. Before going to bed: activate the blue light filter or put away your screen one hour before sleep. This will stop the blue light from the screen delaying the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
  2. While asleep: ensure an undisturbed night’s sleep by turning devices off or switching to flight mode.
  3. In the bedroom: if possible, no screens in the bedroom. This prevents unnecessary use.
  4. Alarm function: instead of the phone alarm, use a conventional alarm clock instead.
  5. Winding down: before going to bed, it’s important to not only reduce screen time but also make sure you relax in general. Natural, plant-based household remedies can help.

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