“Do you use an LED book light or other bright devices in bed?”
Reading in bed is one of my favorite ways to relax and fall asleep. However, I’m pretty particular about how I go about doing this.
First of all, the only book light I will ever use is the Beam and Read hands-free travel and reading light. It’s a bright LED light that comes with filters to block out differently colored light emissions. I use the orange filter, which successfully blocks the blue light.
I do a bit of camping and having a hands-free light for nighttime walks is handy. The nice thing about this light is that it can also be hung around the neck as a hands-free lighting device.
We also have a lot of power outages, and this is my go-to light source on those occasions. It folds and locks open in a way that can be useful as a flashlight that doesn’t roll away.
As for other brightly lit devices, this is what I do:
I now charge my smart phone at night in my adjacent bathroom. The phone is set to “Do Not Disturb,” which prohibits any kind of chimes or ringtones between preset hours I assign so that I only receive phone calls or texts from people I designate in my contacts list. This way, I know that only urgent calls will arrive during the nighttime hours.
I also use the Night Shift feature on my phone, which puts a blue light filter into action at a preset time (I set it for 8pm) so that, should I check my phone after that time (but prior to bedtime), I am not staring into a bright blast of blue spectrum light.
The Night Shift feature also includes a pleasant graduated alarm that gently activates in the morning. While I usually don’t need an alarm in the morning (one of the perks of not having to commute), it does occasionally come in handy when I do need to catch an early flight or make an early appointment.
Keeping the phone in the bathroom also removes any urge to check the time at night, as well as eliminates the opportunity to use my phone for any purpose once I’m already in bed.
It also prevents me from hitting “snooze” in the morning without first getting out of bed, preventing the bad habit of hanging out in bed after waking up to check my email, Facebook, or Twitter. My day gets off to a much more productive start, and it ends with less exposure to the bright light that cell phones emit without filtering.
And for the record, while I read “real” books (as in, printed ones), I also own a Kindle. However, it’s the Paperwhite edition and not backlit, so there’s no concern about blue light exposure coming from it. While I own an iPad, it does not even cross the threshold into my bedroom.
Because I can sometimes work later than usual (as is the reality in my trade), I also use blue-blocking glasses whenever I am at work on my laptop or scrolling my iPad after hours. The coolest ones are marketed as “gamer’s glasses.” They aren’t 100 percent blue-proof, but they help with eye strain and reduce exposure to blue spectrum light. Check out this Consumer Reports review of three styles.
PS: In case you’re wondering what am I reading right now, it’s Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad.
~ The Curator