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A growing number of studies and anecdotal evidence suggests a habit that many of us have may be harmful to our health: staring at mobile devices in dark rooms. NPR reported recently on a woman who had gone momentarily blind after using her smartphone for reading regularly in bed. Researchers found the trend more common than you might think, terming it “transient smartphone ‘blindness.’” The Daily Mail reported that others have experienced retinal detachment from using their smartphones in the dark—a trend confirmed by scientists who found that the condition is rising and could be caused by excessive phone use in dark conditions.
If these cases sound more extreme that what you’ve experienced, be aware that other more common health problems have also been potentially linked to using glowing screens at night. The Guardian reports on medical experts who warn that looking at a bright computer or smartphone screen after dark may lead to a number of health risks, from disrupted sleep to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and depression.
In the report, The Guardian quotes the Director of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Charles Czeisler, who notes that when you suffer from long-term sleep loss, you’re at greater risk for multiple diseases. The sleep-deprived also have a 15 percent increased chance of death from all causes, when compared with their same-age peers who sleep well. The issue here is that the light from electronic devices tricks the body into thinking it is still daylight, which suppresses the natural hormone melatonin that your body needs to control its sleep-wake cycle.
The good news is that Czeisler suggests a healthier approach to night lighting with our devices could help solve the problem. Night lighting replaces the glaring blue hues most commonly found on glowing screens (as well as on many airplanes) with orange and red hues. The reason is that orange and red hues are much less disruptive of the body’s circadian rhythms.
This is where Night Mode on WPS Office for Android comes in. When you click the Night Mode button (accessible through the quick pop-up icons from the flip screen at the bottom of your device), you enable a screen lighting that is more suitable to the softer, less harsh light conditions you need when working or reading at night. If you like to read e-books in bed, this is an excellent option.
While it’s always best to avoid nighttime screen work when you can, it certainly is smart to choose an app that allows you to moderate the quality and brightness of light you receive when utilizing your devices after dark. With the Night Mode option from WPS Office for nighttime device viewing, you’ll be doing your body a favor by keeping lighting low. That way, you (and any sleep companion) can wind down more quickly once you shut off the screen so you can get some restful shut-eye. If you’re a nighttime smartphone user, it’s a feature that’s worth activating on a regular basis.