Does the Light From a Phone or Computer Make it Hard to Sleep?enteenshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/T-expertAnswers-enHD-AR1.jpgFind out what the experts have to say.blue, light, screen, screens, melatonin, awake, fall, asleep, trouble, sleeping, keep me up, can't sleep, laptop, tablet, ipad, electronic, block, blue-blocking, orange, yellow, tint, tinted, glasses, film, app, sleep-wake cycle, circadian, sircadiun07/06/201508/05/201908/05/2019KidsHealth Medical Expertsde309d71-0ba5-4ca5-bea2-f4b063ccb06dhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/blue-light.html/<p><em>My mom says I need to stop using my phone and laptop before bed because the light makes it harder to sleep. Is that really true?<br /> </em>&ndash; <em>Ash*</em></p> <p>Yes, it's true: The light from a phone or laptop confuses the brain into thinking it's time to wake up instead of fall asleep.</p> <p>Light from electronic screens comes in all colors, but the blues are the worst. Blue light fools the brain into thinking it's daytime. When that happens, the body stops releasing a sleep hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is nature's way of helping us wind down and prepare for bed. The body starts releasing it a couple of hours before bedtime. Darkness helps trigger the release of melatonin; blue light delays it.</p> <p>That's bad enough, but it gets worse: <strong>Teens are more sensitive to the effects of blue light than adults are.</strong> So you're more likely to be tossing and turning hours past your usual bedtime. Add that to&nbsp;the other things that make it harder to sleep &mdash; like body clocks that make us <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/how-much-sleep.html/">feel awake at night</a>, more homework and distractions, and early school start times &mdash;&nbsp;and it's&nbsp;a recipe for feeling sleep deprived.</p> <p>Some people try to get around the blue-light problem by dimming their screens or wearing special glasses. But there's no proof that these work.</p> <p>The best way to be sure your brain is at its best for tests, sports, and other things that require focus is to follow your mom's advice: Don't use computers and other screens for an hour or two before bedtime. How do you fill that time? Call a friend instead of texting. Hang out with family. Play with a pet. Or try some <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/relax-breathing.html/">breathing exercises</a>.</p> <p>Blue light is just one of the ways tech devices can <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/reboot.html/">interfere with sleep</a>. It's best to shut off alerts when you go to sleep and keep devices that emit light out of your bedroom.</p> <p><em>*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.</em></p>
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