Interested in ways to use your Mac so it isn’t making it harder for you to get to sleep? While blue light has become a much-talked-about enemy of sleep, there’s recent research that shows more than just blue light can have a negative effect on falling asleep. Read on for how to block blue light on Mac and several other ways to improve sleep.
Recent research from studies like Mouland et. al and advice from Dr. Huberman – professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine – say more than just blue light can make it hard to fall asleep.
Below we’ll look at five ways to use your Mac more intentionally to help you fall asleep easier. And here’s a guide to doing the same on iPhone:
How to block blue light on Mac and other ways to get to sleep
Ideal way to get to sleep faster
- Avoid bright artificial light of any color at night
- Dr. Huberman suggests starting this after the sun goes down
- Others recommend avoiding blue light/bright light one hour before bed
- If you can’t fully avoid your Mac at night, try one of the following steps
Grayscale on your Mac
- Make your Mac less stimulating by setting your display to grayscale
- Say “Hey, Siri turn on grayscale” or (System Settings > Accessibility > Display > Color Filters > Grayscale)
- You can also say “Hey Siri, turn down my brightness,” use the brightness keys on your keyboard, or the slider in Control Center
Block blue light on Mac
If you want to try just blocking blue light on your Mac at night, you can use a color filter:
- Head to the Settings app > Accessibility > Display > Color Filters
- Tap the toggle to enable filters, then click Filter type > Color Tint > choose red and slide intensity to the far right to remove all blue light
- Like grayscale, using a red filter will make it less appealing to use your Mac at night
Night Shift and Dark Mode
Night Shift is an option on Mac to automatically shift the colors of your display “to the warmer end of the color spectrum.” While this may help your display appear less bright and stimulating, it’s still artificial light with colors that can disrupt your ability to fall asleep.
Dark Mode is another way to make your display less stimulating. These may be good options if any of the above steps feel too difficult to implement.
- To turn on and customize Night Shift, head to the System Settings > Display > Night Shift
- To set up Dark Mode, System Settings > Appearance > Auto to enable auto-switching between light and dark modes
For more on the science behind avoiding artificial light at night, check out this clip from Dr. Huberman:
A valuable practice to pair with reducing bright artificial light at night to help you sleep is a simple muscle tension/relaxation routine.
Physical therapist and pro athlete coach Jeff Cavaliere approaches it like this: