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Tip of the Week: How to Keep Your Devices from Keeping You Awake

Tip of the Week: How to Keep Your Devices from Keeping You Awake

We’ve all worked late nights, but that’s just the reality of modern business - our technology allows us to be productive whenever we have the opportunity to be. However, our physiology doesn’t always agree with our work habits - or the tools we use. One example: the influence that staring at a screen late into the night has on our ability to achieve restful sleep.

Fortunately, devices are now made with certain settings that can temper this influence. We’ll give you a few tips on how to adjust these settings.

How Your Computer Messes with Your Sleep

Your computer, as well as any other device you use with a screen, lets out a variety of types of light. One of these lights, blue light, actually reduces your production of melatonin - the hormone that the brain’s pineal gland creates based upon the amount of light a person is exposed to. As the pineal gland creates more melatonin the less light you are exposed to, there are effects like the prevalence of seasonal affective disorder during the short, dark days of winter.

This leads our devices to cause a complication, as the blue light they emit can fool our brains. Normally, when the sun sets, melatonin levels should naturally rise - encouraging our bodies to rest. However, the blue light from our devices keep our brains stimulated, throwing off our sleep patterns and preventing us from getting the restful sleep we need.

To counter this, developers have worked to create solutions that reduce the impact of blue light.

Using the Native Blue Light Filters in Windows 10 and Android

Both Windows and Android refer to their blue light filters as “Night Light.” What Night light allows a user to do is to set scheduled periods where their devices filter out the blue light, allowing their melatonin to rise as it should, making it easier for them to go to sleep. Doing so is pretty simple.

In Windows 10, you’ll need to first access your Settings, and from there, access System and then Display. You will be presented with numerous options for the Night Light capability, including the means to adjust the temperature of the light your monitor gives out, set custom hours for Night Light to turn on, or set it to activate and deactivate based on the rising and setting of the sun for your location.

In Android, start by accessing your Notifications Menu and entering your Settings by pressing the Gear icon. There, you’ll find Display. On this page, you can activate Night Light via the toggle switch, while pressing on the name brings you to more granular options, like - again - the ability to schedule the blue light filter to activate between certain hours, or between sunrise and sunset.

Have you had trouble getting to sleep after using your technology, and if so, what other methods have you used to encourage sleep? Counting sheep? Wearing socks to bed? Share your most effective strategies in the comments!

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Monday, October 21 2019

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