If we're honest with ourselves, we spend too many hours staring at phone and computer screens - often close to bedtime. The blue light emanating from those glowing rectangles can cause problems. Various studies have found for this particular area of the light spectrum can stimulate your brain into thinking it's morning and therefore time to be awake.
Of course, the most sensible solution would be to simply lay aside those devices and read a good book or something equally as relaxing, but most of us aren't sensible. Fortunately, help is at hand if you want to persist with that late-night doomscrolling, here's how you can use blue light filters to protect your circadian rhythms.
How to use the blue light filter in Windows 10 (Night light)
The blue light filter in Windows 10 goes by the name of Night Light. This is a handy resource as not only will it remove the blue light from your display, but it can also be scheduled to turn on and off at certain times of the day. Here’s what to do if you want to set up Night Light on your Windows 10 PC.
Open the Start menu then select Settings > System > Display > Night light settings.
Here you’ll see options to enable the feature immediately, a bar where you set the strength of the effect, plus the Schedule section for deciding when you would like it to automatically turn on and off.
To test out how it looks, click the Turn on now button. The screen should turn from white to a kind of pinky cream colour. Sliding the Strength bar up and down with increase or decrease the effect, but remember you’ll want it to be reasonably strong for your sleep to be protected.
When you’re happy with the setting you can either leave it as is or click the Schedule night light toggle switch. The latter will open two further options: Sunset to sunrise or Set hours. Choose whichever suits your tastes, then the Night Light feature will become automatic. Should you wish to turn it off, just return to this page and deselect the Schedule night light button and ensure that you click the Turn off now button.
How to use a blue light filter on a Mac (Night Shift)
As with the iPhone and iPads we cover below, Apple has a similar blue light filter available on its Macs. It only works on models from 2012 onwards (in most cases) that have a built-in display or use very specific Apple or LG ones. You can find more details on the Apple Support site.
To enable the feature, open System Preferences > Displays and select the Night Shift tab. From there you can set the times it automatically turns on and off, plus the strength of the effect.
How to use a blue light filter on iPhone and iPad (Night Shift)
On Apple mobile devices, the blue light filter is found under the Night Shift setting. To turn it on, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift, where you’ll find all the options available.
For a more in-depth guide, read how to use Night Shift on iPhone.
How to use a blue light filter on Android
Most Android phones have a built-in blue light filter which you’ll usually find in the Display section of Settings. For example, on a Samsung Galaxy S9 you can enable the feature by going to Settings > Display and turning on the Blue light filter option.
On Honour and Huawei phones, it's called Eye Comfort. On a Google Pixel, it's called Night Light.
If you don’t see this setting on your phone, launch the Google Play Store and search for Blue Light Filter. You’ll see a wide range of apps, with some of the more popular ones being Twilight and Blue Light Filter – Night Mode, Night Shift.