Why doesn't the Kindle strain your eyes?

Reduce eye strain when using smartphones and tablets in the dark

Reading your smartphone or tablet in the dark is likely to be bad for you. It is unlikely that this will stop you. So how can you fix your reader before bed without straining your eyes?

There is a growing body of research suggesting "When you look at brightly lit screens at night, it disrupts the body's natural rhythm and increases the risk of diseases associated with poor sleep, including obesity, heart disease, stroke, and depression . "

While it's no secret that artificial light takes on our circadian rhythms, recent publications suggest that LCDs may worsen your sleep patterns even further. Phone and tablet screens display the light in a predominantly blue hue, and it is believed that the blue light emitted by these screens actually causes our brain to wake up when it really needs to fall asleep.

When you know all of this, is it now less likely that you will take your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to bed with you? We advise no. Instead, you can adjust your screen so that it doesn't negatively affect your eyes. Below are some ways and suggestions you can take to make your nighttime screen reading healthier and more enjoyable.

Darken your screen on Android and iOS

Obviously, the two most popular types of tablets and smartphones are those running Android and Apple iOS, so we have to start there.

On iOS, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to adjust the brightness. The brightness regulator is displayed under the upper row of buttons.

On pure Android or Cyanogenmod, swipe down from the top of the screen to open Quick Settings and choose Brightness.

The brightness control will appear on your home screen. Note the "Auto" button. You may not want to enable this. Auto-brightness is nice in theory, but in our experience it's usually more annoying than practical.

Speaking of convenience when you're running, a newer version of the popular Cyanogenmod has a fantastic function for the brightness control built into the system, but it has to be activated first. To do this, open the Settings application and click on the “Status Bar” option. On the screen that appears, check the "Brightness Control" box.

Now if you want to adjust the brightness of your Cyanogenmod-enabled device, simply touch the status bar and slide your finger left to decrease the brightness or right to lighten it.

If you're not sure what we're talking about when we mention Cyanogenmod, we recommend reading our 8 Reasons to Install the Cyanogenmod Manual.

But I have boring old Android right now

Admittedly, a lot of Android users don't use Cyanogenmod or even pure Android. That said, we appreciate the ease of being able to simply swipe part of the screen for instant brightness adjustments.

Fortunately, the Play Store has a ton of options including this handy app that is not only free but only requires permission to install.

After installation, the display brightness is shown as a bar at the top of your display. The brightness adjustment bar can be adjusted to your heart's content, e.g. B. by color, width, length, transparency and much more.

If that doesn't float your boat, you can look for your own solutions. There is sure to be a lot to find!

And Kindles? Yes, we do

By far the most popular reading tablet is the Kindle, and it's no secret that How-To Geek thinks the Kindle Paperwhite is the "King of the Hill". The Kindle e-ink display is ideal for reading and is in no way inferior to old-fashioned paper and ink. Even so, you may want to dial it down a bit if you're reading in a darkened room.

To adjust the brightness of your Paperwhite, tap at the top of the screen to bring up the menu bar (if you're not already in the main list / book view). Then tap the light bulb icon. Use the slider to lighten or darken the screen.

It's interesting to note that the new Paperwhite models recently unveiled by Amazon have an adaptive brightness feature that gradually decreases the brightness as your eyes adjust to the darkness.

Of course, if you can't afford $ 199, you may have to settle for using the Kindle app on your mobile device. You already know how to adjust the brightness on your Android or iOS system. However, did you know that you can change the brightness of the Kindle app regardless of the system's brightness setting?

Open the Kindle app on your device. On the Android version, it looks like this: tap the "Aa" icon and you'll see some quick settings that you can adjust. Deactivate "Use system brightness" and then use the slider to make your customized settings.

Before exiting these settings, you can also change other text functions, e.g. B. the font size and the screen color, whereby the strain on the eyes can be further reduced.

Give your eyes a break with f.lux

We have mentioned f.lux in the past, but we think we should check it again as it is such a valuable tool and it really hurts your reading in the dark experience. In short, f.lux adjusts the color temperature of your display depending on the time of day and the type or volume of ambient lighting in your room.

For example, the sun is outside in the morning and during the day, so the brightness of your display should be correspondingly high and the color temperature is bluer (6500 K).

When night falls and you switch to dimmer, artificial light or ambient light sources, f.lux automatically lowers the temperature of your display (to approx. 3400 K or less). This basically means that your display will appear less blue and more red, which will reduce eye strain and potentially allow you to sleep a little better at night.

f.lux is available for Windows, Mac and jailbroken iPhones / iPads. It's free and easy to use. We encourage you to try it out. If you're not jailbroken, iOS 9.3 now has a similar feature called Night Shift built in.

If you're using Android there is an app called Twilight (which has nothing to do with moody teenage vampires) that works in a similar way to f.lux. Twilight is available on the Play Store and is free.

Finally, Linux users shouldn't feel left out. There is a handy utility called Redshift that is supposed to work just like f.lux. Of course, you might have to configure something to make it work the way you want it to, but if you're a regular Linux user you are probably already used to it!

Give your eyes a break!

At the end of the day, there is nothing better for your eyes than a change of scene. Reading a book, going for a walk, or just hanging up the phone and falling asleep can work wonders.

In real life, however, we understand device users get sucked in and hours can go by quickly. Remember, however, to take breaks and adjust the brightness (and color temperature) of your display to suit your lighting conditions.

Do you have any other tips that you would like to share with us? Be sure to tell us in our discussion forum!