In the quest for a great night's sleep, we've heard all manner of advice. One thing that always pops up is how important it is to step away from technology (be it television or a late-night scroll through Instagram) once the lights are out. Here's one more good reason to put your beloved smartphone to bed early: According to New York magazine, two women in the UK reported experiencing disorienting and disconcerting spells of moderate blindness lasting up to a few months, and the common thread? Hello, iPhone usage.
As detailed in a report in The New England Journal of Medicine, both women, one 22 and the other 40, were given detailed eye, pulmonary, and neurological examinations. With all results thankfully coming back normal, doctors took a closer look at the histories logged when both women first came in. The discovery was that both had been using their phones in the dark before experiencing the scary symptoms.
Past studies corroborate the potential harm our trusty smartphones may cause us in regards to our sight. Dr. Celia Sánchez-Ramos of Complutense University in Madrid reported that continuous exposure to LED screens might cause irreversible damage to our retinas. The culprit of the nasty damage is high levels of so-called "blue light."
Thankfully, tech innovators are taking note of the threat blue light poses. The most recent update to the iPhone includes a "night shift" setting that automatically increases the warmth of the light emitted from our phones after a certain time. Software plugins like F.lux, which you can install to your desktop or laptop, serve a similar function, basking your computer screen in a cozy warm light as the sun goes down, thus cutting down on the damaging effects of blue light.
Bottom line: Take the necessary precautions, and don't freak out if you experience some vision problems post Instagram scroll. Turn on Night Shift, install F.lux, turn down your display brightness, and, by all means, ditch that smartphone when it's bedtime once and for all.
Would you like to cut down on how much time you spend on your phone?