Getting a good night’s rest is important for both physical and mental health. We live in an age that is immersed in digital consumption through our technology. Admittedly, a major portion of my day is spent looking at a computer screen. I have always felt that technology effects our sleep and eye health. There are numerous journals that discuss this in detail, without delving into the wider lifestyle effects, I wanted to focus on a common feature of modern devices – Eye Saver Mode.
Blue Light Culprit
Restless nights, eye irritation and other sleep related disorders have strong links to blue light exposure. A general rule is to switch off the screens as early as possible before bed to prepare the body for a state of rest without aggravation from blue light sources. I won’t go into scientific detail but in summary, blue light is one of the most dominant and powerful ranges on the visible light spectrum. One can relate this to mimicking signals that are akin to sunlight, triggering certain responses from the body cause the brain to abnormally become alert and overtime, restless and sleepless.
Eye Saver and Dark Modes
Blue light reduction has been extensively explored across the tech industry. Mobile smartphones, portable gaming consoles and modern operating systems all have their own equivalent of an Eye Saver Mode. This technology normally uses a screen hue calibration that reduces blue light and displays a friendlier spectrum. Is this a placebo or does this really help with eliminating blue light exposure?
Turning on Eye Saver Mode on most screens will immediately reveal a yellow tinge. As our eyes adjust, this tinge fades back into normality. Despite this function, it is hard to eliminate exposure to blue light if most display colours on a screen are white. Use of dark mode has since improved blue light reduction significantly and I tend opt for dark mode where possible. Not only is this more aesthetically pleasing to some, it cuts out much of the otherwise necessary blue light that would be found on white screens. Dark mode has become a standard across Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows, certain Linux distributions and more. For app development, dynamic design that adapts to a dark mode is fast becoming an industry standard that is to be expected by users.
Regardless of these improvements, I view these software and design solutions as quality-of-life improvement but not a total cure for cases of restlessness/insomnia. Cutting screen time as much as possible before bedtime has made a world of difference in sleep quality for me. Tech companies continue to provide better viewing experiences for users with smooth refresh rates and screen colours but being determined to limit screen time at certain times of the day is a user’s responsibility.