Blue light from smartphones could be hurting your health

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A new array of tools involving the high energy screens on your smartphone and tablets could help you get better sleep.

The “blue light,” as it’s called, coming from the screens could have a long-term impact on your health.

If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, there could be more than meets the eye, literally.

Blue light is now invading the dark, shining from your smartphone, TV, tablet, and computer.

“I’ll be laying down and about to go sleep so it’s all dark and my eyes are adjusted and someone will text me, I’ll turn over and text them back and my eyes are no longer adjusted to the dark anymore, so it kind of wakes you up and you can’t really fall asleep as fast anymore,” Sarah Wilson said.

Wilson told us she hadn’t heard about the recent studies that have shown blue light coming from LED screens can wreck your sleep patterns and cause other medical side effects.

“It affects eye health, it affects sleep, it affects our mood and emotions, it affects possibly diabetes, possibly development of cancer,” Dr. Louis Martin, an optometrist, said. “So I think it is something that we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg as far as the impact of blue light long-term.”

But before you power off, check out some new apps that provide tinted digital filters. Twilight, for instance, adapts to the time of day, altering the screen’s shade after sunset and minimizing blue light.

The apps are especially good for people who’ve switched out paperbacks for their cell phone or tablet while reading in bed at night. Studies show that can really hurt your sleep.

If you’re a big TV watcher before bed, Dr. Martin recommends another option: glasses with a clear blue light blocker coating.

“Sleep is one of my favorite things to do,” Wilson says anything that protects her rest is a bright idea.

Be sure to read the reviews and permissions on apps you download.

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