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Smartphones & Blue Light Exposure
Apple iPhone 5
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What we found:
The Apple iPhone5 was tested at maximum brightness at a distance of 9 inches away from the point of measurement which corresponds to using the phone about 9 inches (or 23 cm) away from the eyes. The resulting display brightness (116) is presented in units of Full Moon Equivalents (FMEs), meaning that the phone at maximum brightness stimulates the circadian rhythm ('sleep') receptors in the eye 116 times more than a full moon. One FME represents the equivalent of a full moon in terms of how much light is absorbed by the melanopsin 'sleep' receptors in the human eyes. The more stimulation these receptors receive in the evening and at night, the more the quality and quantity of sleep are likely to be disrupted.

Estimating how much light is absorbed by these sleep receptors as compared to a full moon takes into account:
  • The absorption properties of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptors which vary by wavelength (color) of light.
  • The color spectrum of the light source (in this case the Apple iPhone5 set on its home screen).
  • The color spectrum of the full moon.
The human body has evolved to tolerate light at night up to the intensity of a full moon without compromising sleep quality. Artificial light exposure after sunset, including smart phones, often exceeds that of a full moon by several orders of magnitude, and in so doing, over-stimulates the sleep receptors in the human eye, disrupting sleep. The risk of serious disruption to both quantity and quality of sleep increases the longer these devices are used after sunset and the closer it is to bedtime.

What can be done about it:
Disruptions to sleep quantity and quality incurred by exposure of the human eyes to the blue light present in device displays can be reduced using straightforward strategies and simple behavior changes such as:
  • Avoid using devices that emit blue light (such as smartphones) three hours or less before bedtime.
  • Turn down the display brightness on the smartphone (decreasing the brightness from 100% to 50% cuts exposure by at least 50% and in some cases up to 75%).
  • Enable NightShift on your iPhone to reduce the blue light emitted by smartphones during nighttime hours.
  • Consider wearing eyeglasses that reduce blue light exposure.

Colors of the Apple iPhone5 compared to the Full Moon and the Sleep Receptor

The wavelengths of light ('colors') that are present in a full moon and the Apple iPhone5 display are shown in the graph below along with the absorption behavior of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptor in the human eye which is responsible for communicating with the brain to regulate sleep. All the colors are normalized to a maximum value of 1 for ease of visualizing differences. The more overlap between a light source (e.g. the smartphone) and the melanopsin receptor curve, the more the receptor responds to that light source and the more disruptive the light source can be to the regulation of sleep. The term sleep receptor is used to describe a small set of ganglion cells in the retina that are photosensitive via a photopigment called melanopsin; the response characteristics of melanopsin vary somewhat from study to study and species to species and the results shown below are a consensus estimate based on Hankins et al. (2007).  How much the melanopsin receptor actually responds is a combination of not only the color of the light (as shown below) but also the intensity of light presented to the eye.
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Apple iPhone 6s
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What we found:
The Apple iPhone 6s was tested at maximum brightness at a distance of 9 inches away from the point of measurement which corresponds to using the phone about 9 inches (or 23 cm) away from the eyes. The resulting display brightness (68) is presented in units of Full Moon Equivalents (FMEs), meaning that the phone at maximum brightness stimulates the circadian rhythm ('sleep') receptors in the eye 68 times more than a full moon. One FME represents the equivalent of a full moon in terms of how much light is absorbed by the melanopsin 'sleep' receptors in the human eyes. The more stimulation these receptors receive in the evening and at night, the more the quality and quantity of sleep are likely to be disrupted.

Estimating how much light is absorbed by these sleep receptors as compared to a full moon takes into account:
  • The absorption properties of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptors which vary by wavelength (color) of light.
  • The color spectrum of the light source (in this case the Apple iPhone 6s set on its home screen).
  • The color spectrum of the full moon.
The human body has evolved to tolerate light at night up to the intensity of a full moon without compromising sleep quality. Artificial light exposure after sunset, including smart phones, often exceeds that of a full moon by several orders of magnitude, and in so doing, over-stimulates the sleep receptors in the human eye, disrupting sleep. The risk of serious disruption to both quantity and quality of sleep increases the longer these devices are used after sunset and the closer it is to bedtime.

What can be done about it:
Disruptions to sleep quantity and quality incurred by exposure of the human eyes to the blue light present in device displays can be reduced using straightforward strategies and simple behavior changes such as:
  • Avoid using devices that emit blue light (such as smartphones) three hours or less before bedtime.
  • Turn down the display brightness on the smartphone (decreasing the brightness from 100% to 50% cuts exposure by at least 50% and in some cases up to 75%).
  • Enable NightShift on your iPhone to reduce the blue light emitted by smartphones during nighttime hours.
  • Consider wearing eyeglasses that reduce blue light exposure.

Colors of the Apple iPhone 6s compared to the Full Moon and the Sleep Receptor

The wavelengths of light ('colors') that are present in a full moon and the Apple iPhone 6s display are shown in the graph below along with the absorption behavior of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptor in the human eye which is responsible for communicating with the brain to regulate sleep. All the colors are normalized to a maximum value of 1 for ease of visualizing differences. The more overlap between a light source (e.g. the smartphone) and the melanopsin receptor curve, the more the receptor responds to that light source and the more disruptive the light source can be to the regulation of sleep. The term sleep receptor is used to describe a small set of ganglion cells in the retina that are photosensitive via a photopigment called melanopsin; the response characteristics of melanopsin vary somewhat from study to study and species to species and the results shown below are a consensus estimate based on Hankins et al. (2007).  How much the melanopsin receptor actually responds is a combination of not only the color of the light (as shown below) but also the intensity of light presented to the eye.
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Apple iPhone 6s Plus
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What we found:
The Apple iPhone 6s Plus was tested at maximum brightness at a distance of 9 inches away from the point of measurement which corresponds to using the phone about 9 inches (or 23 cm) away from the eyes. The resulting display brightness (58) is presented in units of Full Moon Equivalents (FMEs), meaning that the phone at maximum brightness stimulates the circadian rhythm ('sleep') receptors in the eye 58 times more than a full moon. One FME represents the equivalent of a full moon in terms of how much light is absorbed by the melanopsin 'sleep' receptors in the human eyes. The more stimulation these receptors receive in the evening and at night, the more the quality and quantity of sleep are likely to be disrupted.

Estimating how much light is absorbed by these sleep receptors as compared to a full moon takes into account:
  • The absorption properties of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptors which vary by wavelength (color) of light.
  • The color spectrum of the light source (in this case the Apple iPhone 6s Plus set on its home screen).
  • The color spectrum of the full moon.
The human body has evolved to tolerate light at night up to the intensity of a full moon without compromising sleep quality. Artificial light exposure after sunset, including smart phones, often exceeds that of a full moon by several orders of magnitude, and in so doing, over-stimulates the sleep receptors in the human eye, disrupting sleep. The risk of serious disruption to both quantity and quality of sleep increases the longer these devices are used after sunset and the closer it is to bedtime.

What can be done about it:
Disruptions to sleep quantity and quality incurred by exposure of the human eyes to the blue light present in device displays can be reduced using straightforward strategies and simple behavior changes such as:
  • Avoid using devices that emit blue light (such as smartphones) three hours or less before bedtime.
  • Turn down the display brightness on the smartphone (decreasing the brightness from 100% to 50% cuts exposure by at least 50% and in some cases up to 75%).
  • Enable NightShift on your iPhone to reduce the blue light emitted by smartphones during nighttime hours.
  • Consider wearing eyeglasses that reduce blue light exposure.

Colors of the Apple iPhone 6s Plus compared to the Full Moon and the Sleep Receptor

The wavelengths of light ('colors') that are present in a full moon and the Apple iPhone 6s Plus display are shown in the graph below along with the absorption behavior of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptor in the human eye which is responsible for communicating with the brain to regulate sleep. All the colors are normalized to a maximum value of 1 for ease of visualizing differences. The more overlap between a light source (e.g. the smartphone) and the melanopsin receptor curve, the more the receptor responds to that light source and the more disruptive the light source can be to the regulation of sleep. The term sleep receptor is used to describe a small set of ganglion cells in the retina that are photosensitive via a photopigment called melanopsin; the response characteristics of melanopsin vary somewhat from study to study and species to species and the results shown below are a consensus estimate based on Hankins et al. (2007).  How much the melanopsin receptor actually responds is a combination of not only the color of the light (as shown below) but also the intensity of light presented to the eye.
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ASUS Zenfone 3
Similar results can be expected with other ASUS ZenFones including ZenFone4, ZenFone Deluxe, and ZenFone Zoom.

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What we found:
The ASUS ZenFone 3 was tested at maximum brightness at a distance of 9 inches away from the point of measurement which corresponds to using the phone about 9 inches (or 23 cm) away from the eyes. The resulting display brightness (107) is presented in units of Full Moon Equivalents (FMEs), meaning that the phone at maximum brightness stimulates the circadian rhythm ('sleep') receptors in the eye 107 times more than a full moon. One FME represents the equivalent of a full moon in terms of how much light is absorbed by the melanopsin 'sleep' receptors in the human eyes. The more stimulation these receptors receive in the evening and at night, the more the quality and quantity of sleep are likely to be disrupted.

Estimating how much light is absorbed by these sleep receptors as compared to a full moon takes into account:
  • The absorption properties of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptors which vary by wavelength (color) of light.
  • The color spectrum of the light source (in this case the ASUS ZenFone 3 set on its home screen).
  • The color spectrum of the full moon.
The human body has evolved to tolerate light at night up to the intensity of a full moon without compromising sleep quality. Artificial light exposure after sunset, including smart phones, often exceeds that of a full moon by several orders of magnitude, and in so doing, over-stimulates the sleep receptors in the human eye, disrupting sleep. The risk of serious disruption to both quantity and quality of sleep increases the longer these devices are used after sunset and the closer it is to bedtime.

What can be done about it:
Disruptions to sleep quantity and quality incurred by exposure of the human eyes to the blue light present in device displays can be reduced using straightforward strategies and simple behavior changes such as:
  • Avoid using devices that emit blue light (such as smartphones) three hours or less before bedtime.
  • Turn down the display brightness on the smartphone (decreasing the brightness from 100% to 50% cuts exposure by at least 50% and in some cases up to 75%).
  • Use an Android app to reduce the blue light emitted by smartphones during nighttime hours.
  • Consider wearing eyeglasses that reduce blue light exposure.

Colors of the ASUS ZenFone compared to the Full Moon and the Sleep Receptor

The wavelengths of light ('colors') that are present in a full moon and the ASUS ZenFone 3 display are shown in the graph below along with the absorption behavior of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptor in the human eye which is responsible for communicating with the brain to regulate sleep. All the colors are normalized to a maximum value of 1 for ease of visualizing differences. The more overlap between a light source (e.g. the smartphone) and the melanopsin receptor curve, the more the receptor responds to that light source and the more disruptive the light source can be to the regulation of sleep. The term sleep receptor is used to describe a small set of ganglion cells in the retina that are photosensitive via a photopigment called melanopsin; the response characteristics of melanopsin vary somewhat from study to study and species to species and the results shown below are a consensus estimate based on Hankins et al. (2007).  How much the melanopsin receptor actually responds is a combination of not only the color of the light (as shown below) but also the intensity of light presented to the eye.
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HTC One
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What we found:
The HTC One was tested at maximum brightness at a distance of 9 inches away from the point of measurement which corresponds to using the phone about 9 inches (or 23 cm) away from the eyes. The resulting display brightness (27) is presented in units of Full Moon Equivalents (FMEs), meaning that the phone at maximum brightness stimulates the circadian rhythm ('sleep') receptors in the eye 27 times more than a full moon. One FME represents the equivalent of a full moon in terms of how much light is absorbed by the melanopsin 'sleep' receptors in the human eyes. The more stimulation these receptors receive in the evening and at night, the more the quality and quantity of sleep are likely to be disrupted.

Estimating how much light is absorbed by these sleep receptors as compared to a full moon takes into account:
  • The absorption properties of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptors which vary by wavelength (color) of light.
  • The color spectrum of the light source (in this case the HTC One set on its home screen).
  • The color spectrum of the full moon.
The human body has evolved to tolerate light at night up to the intensity of a full moon without compromising sleep quality. Artificial light exposure after sunset, including smart phones, often exceeds that of a full moon by several orders of magnitude, and in so doing, over-stimulates the sleep receptors in the human eye, disrupting sleep. The risk of serious disruption to both quantity and quality of sleep increases the longer these devices are used after sunset and the closer it is to bedtime.

What can be done about it:
Disruptions to sleep quantity and quality incurred by exposure of the human eyes to the blue light present in device displays can be reduced using straightforward strategies and simple behavior changes such as:
  • Avoid using devices that emit blue light (such as smartphones) three hours or less before bedtime.
  • Turn down the display brightness on the smartphone (decreasing the brightness from 100% to 50% cuts exposure by at least 50% and in some cases up to 75%).
  • Use an Android app to reduce the blue light emitted by smartphones during nighttime hours.
  • Consider wearing eyeglasses that reduce blue light exposure.

Colors of the HTC One compared to the Full Moon and the Sleep Receptor

The wavelengths of light ('colors') that are present in a full moon and the HTC One display are shown in the graph below along with the absorption behavior of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptor in the human eye which is responsible for communicating with the brain to regulate sleep. All the colors are normalized to a maximum value of 1 for ease of visualizing differences. The more overlap between a light source (e.g. the smartphone) and the melanopsin receptor curve, the more the receptor responds to that light source and the more disruptive the light source can be to the regulation of sleep. The term sleep receptor is used to describe a small set of ganglion cells in the retina that are photosensitive via a photopigment called melanopsin; the response characteristics of melanopsin vary somewhat from study to study and species to species and the results shown below are a consensus estimate based on Hankins et al. (2007).  How much the melanopsin receptor actually responds is a combination of not only the color of the light (as shown below) but also the intensity of light presented to the eye.
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Samsung Galaxy Avant
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What we found:
The Samsung Galaxy Avant was tested at maximum brightness at a distance of 9 inches away from the point of measurement which corresponds to using the phone about 9 inches (or 23 cm) away from the eyes. The resulting display brightness (22) is presented in units of Full Moon Equivalents (FMEs), meaning that the phone at maximum brightness stimulates the circadian rhythm ('sleep') receptors in the eye 22 times more than a full moon. One FME represents the equivalent of a full moon in terms of how much light is absorbed by the melanopsin 'sleep' receptors in the human eyes. The more stimulation these receptors receive in the evening and at night, the more the quality and quantity of sleep are likely to be disrupted.

Estimating how much light is absorbed by these sleep receptors as compared to a full moon takes into account:
  • The absorption properties of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptors which vary by wavelength (color) of light.
  • The color spectrum of the light source (in this case the Samsung Galaxy Avant set on its home screen).
  • The color spectrum of the full moon.
The human body has evolved to tolerate light at night up to the intensity of a full moon without compromising sleep quality. Artificial light exposure after sunset, including smart phones, often exceeds that of a full moon by several orders of magnitude, and in so doing, over-stimulates the sleep receptors in the human eye, disrupting sleep. The risk of serious disruption to both quantity and quality of sleep increases the longer these devices are used after sunset and the closer it is to bedtime.

What can be done about it:
Disruptions to sleep quantity and quality incurred by exposure of the human eyes to the blue light present in device displays can be reduced using straightforward strategies and simple behavior changes such as:
  • Avoid using devices that emit blue light (such as smartphones) three hours or less before bedtime.
  • Turn down the display brightness on the smartphone (decreasing the brightness from 100% to 50% cuts exposure by at least 50% and in some cases up to 75%).
  • Use an Android app to reduce the blue light emitted by smartphones during nighttime hours.
  • Consider wearing eyeglasses that reduce blue light exposure.

Colors of the Samsung Galaxy Avant compared to the Full Moon and the Sleep Receptor

The wavelengths of light ('colors') that are present in a full moon and the Samsung Galaxy Avant display are shown in the graph below along with the absorption behavior of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptor in the human eye which is responsible for communicating with the brain to regulate sleep. All the colors are normalized to a maximum value of 1 for ease of visualizing differences. The more overlap between a light source (e.g. the smartphone) and the melanopsin receptor curve, the more the receptor responds to that light source and the more disruptive the light source can be to the regulation of sleep. The term sleep receptor is used to describe a small set of ganglion cells in the retina that are photosensitive via a photopigment called melanopsin; the response characteristics of melanopsin vary somewhat from study to study and species to species and the results shown below are a consensus estimate based on Hankins et al. (2007).  How much the melanopsin receptor actually responds is a combination of not only the color of the light (as shown below) but also the intensity of light presented to the eye.
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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus
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What we found:
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus was tested at maximum brightness at a distance of 9 inches away from the point of measurement which corresponds to using the phone about 9 inches (or 23 cm) away from the eyes. The resulting display brightness (34) is presented in units of Full Moon Equivalents (FMEs), meaning that the phone at maximum brightness stimulates the circadian rhythm ('sleep') receptors in the eye 34 times more than a full moon. One FME represents the equivalent of a full moon in terms of how much light is absorbed by the melanopsin 'sleep' receptors in the human eyes. The more stimulation these receptors receive in the evening and at night, the more the quality and quantity of sleep are likely to be disrupted.

Estimating how much light is absorbed by these sleep receptors as compared to a full moon takes into account:
  • The absorption properties of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptors which vary by wavelength (color) of light.
  • The color spectrum of the light source (in this case the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus set on its home screen).
  • The color spectrum of the full moon.
The human body has evolved to tolerate light at night up to the intensity of a full moon without compromising sleep quality. Artificial light exposure after sunset, including smart phones, often exceeds that of a full moon by several orders of magnitude, and in so doing, over-stimulates the sleep receptors in the human eye, disrupting sleep. The risk of serious disruption to both quantity and quality of sleep increases the longer these devices are used after sunset and the closer it is to bedtime.

What can be done about it:
Disruptions to sleep quantity and quality incurred by exposure of the human eyes to the blue light present in device displays can be reduced using straightforward strategies and simple behavior changes such as:
  • Avoid using devices that emit blue light (such as smartphones) three hours or less before bedtime.
  • Turn down the display brightness on the smartphone (decreasing the brightness from 100% to 50% cuts exposure by at least 50% and in some cases up to 75%).
  • Turn on the built in Blue Light Filter in Display Settings.
  • Consider wearing eyeglasses that reduce blue light exposure.

Colors of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus compared to the Full Moon and the Sleep Receptor

The wavelengths of light ('colors') that are present in a full moon and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus display are shown in the graph below along with the absorption behavior of the melanopsin ('sleep') receptor in the human eye which is responsible for communicating with the brain to regulate sleep. All the colors are normalized to a maximum value of 1 for ease of visualizing differences. The more overlap between a light source (e.g. the smartphone) and the melanopsin receptor curve, the more the receptor responds to that light source and the more disruptive the light source can be to the regulation of sleep. The term sleep receptor is used to describe a small set of ganglion cells in the retina that are photosensitive via a photopigment called melanopsin; the response characteristics of melanopsin vary somewhat from study to study and species to species and the results shown below are a consensus estimate based on Hankins et al. (2007).  How much the melanopsin receptor actually responds is a combination of not only the color of the light (as shown below) but also the intensity of light presented to the eye.
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