Is Your Smartphone’s “Dark Mode” Better for Your Eyes?


Smartphones & eye health in Wilmington, NCIf you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, you may want to stop and consider your sleep habits. One of the most common mistakes that can interfere with a good night’s rest is using a smartphone or other digital device right before bedtime.

To circumvent the problem, you could commit to using your phone less in the hours preceding your bedtime. Or, if Twitter and Facebook simply cannot wait, you could switch your phone to its “night mode” or “dark mode,” which is specifically designed for use right before bed.

There is no research showing that dark mode is necessarily “better” for the health of your eyes. However, eye experts including the team at Intracoastal Eye and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) advocate for using this setting before you go to sleep. Read on as we dive deeper into why we recommend dark mode.

Dark Mode Versus Regular Display

The regular or default display mode of most smartphones displays black text over a predominantly white background. Night mode inverts these colors, displaying a dark or black background with white or colored text. Night mode also adjusts lighter text colors to be more pink or red in tone instead of blue.

Using night mode exposes your eyes to less blue light than the regular display mode. Your eyes are exposed to blue light from sources including the sun, computers, fluorescent light and LED light.

But being exposed to too much blue light too late at night is disruptive to your natural sleep cycle. Blue light from digital devices mimics the effects of sun exposure, confusing your brain about what time it is, and throwing off your body’s natural circadian rhythm (i.e., your wake and sleep cycle).

Switching on night mode when you use your smartphone or digital device at night is less confusing to your brain and body, and makes it easier to fall asleep.

Another benefit of dark mode is that the change in color and contrast helps reduce glare and makes it easier for your eyes to adjust to surrounding light. Reading text on your phone is more comfortable when the phone is in night mode. Night mode makes you less likely to experience the uncomfortable symptoms of digital eye strain such as dry, tired or irritated eyes, headaches and blurry vision.

Contact Intracoastal Eye

If you use night mode but still experience symptoms of eye strain or other troubling eye symptoms, the team at Intracoastal Eye is here for you. We will evaluate your eyes to confirm or rule out any underlying problems.

Please call or email us today to request an appointment with our eye doctors.