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iPad blue light leading to trouble sleeping / insomnia?

8566 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Sep 22, 2013 10:43 AM by BobbySM RSS
sgilbert92 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 11, 2011 5:23 AM

Hi all,

 

Just curious if anyone had innovative solutions to the problem of late bedtime reading on the iPad leading to insomnia. It's been a topic in the news for a couple months, with the iPad giving off a lot of blue light, which can affect melatonin and sleep patterns. I searched the Apple Discussions but didn't see any on this topic. Off course, the search term "sleep" leads to many different kinds of discussions.

 

For the Mac there's f.lux, which adjusts your screen colors to remove blue light at night, but not much that I've seen for iPad.  Some websites recommend orange glasses (to block the blue). I'm thinking Zagg should produce some orange plastic screen shields that could be easily applied at night. 

 

A couple relevant news articles:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/health/05light.html

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36828043/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/ t/ipad-could-cause-insomnia-researchers-say/

 

Stephen

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • JimHdk Level 7 Level 7 (21,750 points)

    Innovative solutions aren't necessary since there isn't any problem. Read the last part of the MSNBC article:

     

    Other researchers are skeptical, however, that the iPad and other electronic devices pose all that much of a hindrance to getting some shut-eye.

    "The amount of light coming off a computer or an iPad is not anywhere near bright enough to set Circadian cycles," said Michael Marmor, a professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University.

    "Outdoor light is many thousand-fold brighter than any indoor computer or ordinary room light," he said, which is why jet-lagged travelers are told to get outside to help reset and gauge their internal clocks to the local day-night norms.

    "I think people should not worry about lighting effects from either the Kindle or the iPad," said Marmor. "What will keep you awake is the news of the day ... or a really good book."

  • pdm1957 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My early impression is that F.lux reduces eye strain at night.

     

    http://stereopsis.com/flux/

     

    I would like to see a app-store version for the ipad2.

     

    Steve, did you find a blue-light filter (screen attachment or glasses) to your liking?

     

    Paul

  • ajsutton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I use F.lux on my iMac. It's made a huge difference in the quality of my sleep as well as reducing eye strain headaches. My understanding from the research i've read about melanopsin is that it's the color of the light that's more important than brightness. I wish that there was an iPad app that allowed my to adjust the whitepoint at night. F.lux is great, but not available as an AppStore app.

  • Menneisyys Level 4 Level 4 (1,300 points)

    As programming generic screen overlays isn't allowed for AppStore apps, this could still be coded by writing individual third-party apps allowsing for "coloring" the screen - that is, using a deep red background color for, say, Web browser or PDF reader.

     

    You definitely should contact devs of apps that already support a similar method: applying a grey background to simulate additional darkening. This means they could add code for deep red background easily. Such apps are iCab Mobile and GoodReader, both excellent apps. Let me know if you don't have the time to contact these devs and I'll do it myself as I know them very well.

     

    BTW, speaking of LEDs and red lighting, feel free to ask me for more info on what's the best LED's are. I've completely switched to using high-quality LED lights at home and also use high-quality red lights for nighttime lighting. They're MUCH better for the eye than anything else, even incandescent lamps (the second-best choice for the human eye).

  • paulcb Level 6 Level 6 (18,680 points)

    BTW, speaking of LEDs and red lighting, feel free to ask me for more info on what's the best LED's are. I've completely switched to using high-quality LED lights at home and also use high-quality red lights for nighttime lighting. They're MUCH better for the eye than anything else, even incandescent lamps (the second-best choice for the human eye).

    I know pretty much nothing about that.  Without me blindly Googling, any good links you can recommend?  TIA.

  • Menneisyys Level 4 Level 4 (1,300 points)

    I've tested and selected LED bulbs that have pretty much red spectrum components (the best "warm" white bulbs do this by having additional red emitters in them). I've paid special attention to not using bulbs that have ANY kind of 60/120 Hz "beat effect" (the same thing as fluorescent light does - see the video at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fluorescent_beat_effect.ogv , linked from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_lamp )

     

    In this regard, I've found LedON's dimmable lights the best: http://www.ledison-led-lights.co.uk/p/LEDON+LED+Lamp+10W%2C+B22+Dimmable/34.htm . (I haven't tested the somewhat cheaper but non-dimmable bulbs as I couldn't use those bulbs after finding out they flicker - this is why I've ordered dimmable and, therefore, surely condenser (which help in eliminating flickering)-equipped bulbs.)

     

    Strictly red emission-wise, I've found http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4W-GU10-RGB-LED-Light-Bulb-w-Remote-AC85V-240V-/220806 938939?pt=US_Light_Bulbs&hash=item33691e813b the best. It's a Chinese bulb (as opposed to the Austrian one); however, it has been working for over half a year at least 8 hours a day (that is, night). It produces plenty of red light with using only 1W of power. Note that its non-red light flickers with 120 Hz and is, therefore, not recommended for non-red lighting at all.

     

    Note thtat I've emphasized Chinese. I've also ordered some cheap(er) ($10), dimmable and non-flickering warm white lamps and have been using them in not so demanding places (where the worse, red-less spectrum isn't a problem). One of them have died on me after half a year. That is, I wouldn't trust / invest in noname Chinese LED bulbs.

  • Menneisyys Level 4 Level 4 (1,300 points)

    I've sent a mail to the devs of both GoodReader and iCab. Will report back when and if they add night vision support.

  • Menneisyys Level 4 Level 4 (1,300 points)

    By the way, as is also explained in a relaed article at http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/do-you-find-your-idevices-screen-be-too-blueis h-or-just-too-harsh-bedtime-reading , under Settings > General > Accessibility, you can also toggle the White and Black switch to invert the colors on the screen.

     

    Not much, but certainly better than nothing for the time we spend waiting for iCab Mobile / GoodReader to implement filtering.

  • BobbySM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same issue after using my iPad in bed I found it hard to fall asleep. I recently found a great solution though called SleepShield. They make blue blocking screens for all types of devices, it helps me fall asleep after using my iPad and I just got one for my kids iPhone's. Price was very reasonable and it doubles as a screen protector. Check out http://www.sleepshield.com

     

    Hope this helps!

     

    Bobby

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