The allure of diving into captivating tales on your Kindle just before bedtime is undeniable. I’ve done it in the past when I initially bought it. As the world outside quiets down, there’s something magical about scrolling through digital pages. That’s gross!
But have you ever pondered the science behind that soft, ambient glow of your Kindle and its impact on your slumber? Let’s embark together on what happens while using a Kindle during bedtime!
Kindle & Blue Light
Gone are the days when we were restricted to the physical weight of books. With Kindle, not only do we have access to a universe of literature at our fingertips, but we also enjoy the convenience of adjusting font sizes, styles, and even background colors. The night mode has particularly become a favorite for bedtime readers. But, like every story, there’s another side to this narrative.
Most electronic screens emit what’s known as blue light. At face value, it’s just a spectrum of light, but delve a little deeper and you’ll find it’s known to interfere with our sleep. Blue light affects melatonin production – the hormone responsible for regulating our sleep. Simply put, more blue light means potentially less melatonin and a possible delay in feeling sleepy.
A homeopathic doctor has mentioned that the blue light in Kindle can take a toll on our sleep and overall well-being. Most of us don’t know that it offers a feature to adjust the light emission level, do we? Kindle users on public forums mention that you can choose a warm setting safe for your eyes.
What Happens When You Use Kindle Before Sleep?
Our bodies follow a natural 24-hour cycle, known as the circadian rhythm, which dictates our sleep-wake patterns. Blue light exposure, especially during the evening, can jostle this rhythm. It’s akin to experiencing a mini jet lag, where your body believes it’s still daytime, keeping you alert when you’d rather be in dreamland.
Here are some potential harms of using a Kindle before bed:
- It could delay sleep onset. For some people, an engaging book may be too stimulating right before bedtime. As mentioned in this Harvard Health article, the mental activation from reading could delay the onset of sleepiness.
- It risks overstimulating the mind. Reading thriller or suspense novels too close to bedtime could leave some people feeling mentally overstimulated, making it harder to fall asleep. As explained in this Sleep Foundation post, content should be non-arousing.
- It could strain the eyes. Staring at any screen, even Kindle’s backlit screen, can cause eye fatigue over time. Per this American Academy of Ophthalmology study, long periods of digital reading may lead to dry eyes and blurred vision.
- It could disrupt sleep if reading in bed. As this Healthline article warns, reading in bed may lead to associating the bed with wakefulness rather than sleep.
So in moderation and avoiding stimulating content or reading in bed, Kindle before sleep is generally fine. But it may not be suitable right before bedtime for everyone.
How To Use Warm Light on Kindle?
It’s worth noting that Amazon, understanding the concerns surrounding blue light, has been innovatively tweaking its newer Kindle models.
Devices like the Paperwhite and Oasis now feature adjustable warmth settings, allowing users to reduce blue light intensity, replacing it with a warmer, amber glow. This offers a more sleep-conducive environment for night owls.
Several Kindle users have already mentioned on Amazon that the blue light doesn’t harm them anymore.
But, there’s more to do. Adjust your Kindle and fix your bedtime routine as well.
- To optimize your sleep, consider setting a reading curfew.
- Allow a buffer, say 30 minutes, between switching off your Kindle and drifting off to sleep.
- On some nights, perhaps you could also relive the charm of traditional paperback reading, completely eliminating blue light exposure.
The warm light on Kindle can make reading before bed more comfortable for your eyes. If you’re new to Kindle, here are simple steps to find and adjust the warm light setting:
1. Turn on your Kindle
Press and hold the power button on the bottom/side of your Kindle until the screen lights up.
2. Look for settings icon
On the bottom menu, look for an icon that looks like a settings cog. It may be labeled “Settings”.
3. Open quick settings
Tap this icon to open more setting options. Look for an option called “Quick Settings” near the top.
4. Find the light slider
When you open quick settings, you’ll see options like brightness, font size, etc. Near the top is a light bulb icon – this controls the light settings.
5. Adjust the warmth slider
Beside the light bulb icon is a bar with a circle you can drag left and right. Drag it all the way to the right for the warmest, amber light.
6. Set brightness level
Below the warmth slider is another bar to set the brightness. Adjust it to a comfortable level for reading in a dim room.
7. Start reading before bed
With warm light on, your Kindle screen now mimics a lamp. Enjoy cozy, eye-friendly reading in low light before dozing off.
The Kindle has revolutionized our reading habits, blending modern technology with the age-old joy of stories. While the blue light conundrum is a factor to consider, with informed choices and balanced habits, there’s no reason we can’t continue our nightly rendezvous with digital literature.
Take care and use Kindle effectively!