“Adaptive brightness on cell phones, tablets, and monitors isn’t doing anything to help at all.”
You’ve likely seen a lot of our articles about how digital devices are clearly a source of many annoying issues including digital eye strain, macular degeneration, and melatonin suppression (also here and here). When you ask the experts at Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics (The Journal of the College of Optometrists) and the National Academy of Sciences, blue light is bad for sleep! So, when you’re bathing yourself in the light from digital devices, it’ll be harder to get to sleep, stay asleep, and enjoy your sleep. And now that there is so much scientific evidence showing how bad digital devices are for our eyes, technology engineers and developers have provided the world with “bandage” fixes: apps that manipulate screens and supposedly relieve users from being affected by artificial blue light. What could possibly be bad about that, right?
Well, a new study has now come out with damning evidence that adaptive brightness on cell phones, tablets, and monitors isn’t doing anything to help at all. Researchers at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute had already determined that blue wavelengths of light suppress the release of melatonin. Now, however, their latest research has shown that subjects who used a digital device with an app designed to manipulate blue light intensity versus those who did not, resulted in no change in melatonin suppression whatsoever. In other words, apps which turn your screen orange under the guise that it’ll protect your eyes might only work for removing blue light, but they won’t do much in helping you sleep better. One interesting note in their study that stood out to us, though, was that the one night where all participants had an influx of fresh, sleepy-time melatonin was when they all wore a pair of blue light-blocking glasses. Well, what do ya know!
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