Most people look at their iPhone first thing in the morning and last thing at night. The problem? Blue light.
“Exposure to excessive amount of blue light can disrupt sleep by suppressing the natural release of melatonin,” says Jessica Lutz, a spokesperson for The Vision Council. “This eye exposure before bedtime has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns by increasing alertness in the brain.”
Also, says the Review of Optometry’s research, blue light inflicts damage to the back of the eye, a major cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 10 million Americans, says the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Baby Boomers, the first generation to be tethered to computer screens, are getting hit especially hard.
Apple is fighting this problem with its latest iPhone update. A new feature called “Night Shift” automatically changes the color of the iPhone’s display to the warmer, yellow end of the spectrum, reducing the amount of blue light pouring out of your phone.
Apple typically releases minor updates occasionally to add new features or fix software glitches. This is one of Apple’s larger in-between updates; iOS 9.3 brings a handful of all-new features.
Night Shift, for instance, automatically adjusts an iPhone’s display to remove blue light during use in the evening. Studies have shown blue light can interfere with individuals’ ability to sleep or aggravate your AMD. Night Shift is intended to reduce this effects.