Thanks to the prevalence of smartphones and around-the-clock work hours for many, we’re looking at screens more than ever. While smartphones and laptops let us accomplish a lot, looking at a bright screen at night isn’t good for you.
The blue light that screens emit mimics the sun, which is fine during the day. But at night, that blue light can disrupt your sleep cycles and cause other problems. Fortunately, every major platform has an option to filter blue light by changing the color temperature—and they can do so automatically.
Here are the settings you should check to enable blue light filters. The orange-tinted screen may look weird at first, but you’ll get used to it before long.
Windows 10 includes a feature called Night Light to reduce blue light after hours. To access it, head to Settings > System > Display. Here, look for the Night light option under the Color header—click the Night light settings text to configure it.
You can click Turn on now to see how it looks. But it’s more useful to enable Schedule night light. You can choose Sunset to sunrise and Windows will automatically change the color based on sunrise and sunset. If this doesn’t work for you, you can also set your own hours.
This is a good basic solution, but you can install a free app called f.lux if you want to go further. It allows you set custom color temperatures, and features three levels (day, evening, bedtime) instead of just two.
If you use a Mac, you can enable Night Shift via System Preferences > Displays > Night Shift. Adjust the intensity with the slider, choose when it should kick in, and toggle it on anytime if you like.
As mentioned above for Windows, f.lux is also available for Mac if you’d like a more powerful tool.
Android offers its night light feature at Settings > Display > Night Light. Tap Schedule to choose a custom time or automatically at sunset and sunrise. You can also use the slider to adjust the intensity of the color change, or tap Turn on to immediately enable the filter.
If you have an iPhone, visit Settings > Display & Brightness and select Night Shift. Like the other platforms, you have the option to schedule color filtering at night or during a set time. You can also adjust the intensity and enable it on-demand.
Less Blue Light and Better Sleep
Give these settings a try on all your devices and see if they make a difference. Warmer light makes the screen less jarring to look at in the dark as well as helps you avoid the negative effects of blue light on sleep.
It’s best to avoid looking at screens late at night as much as possible. But when you can’t help it, these options will make it less harsh.