Is Dark Theme Better for Your Eyes?

✓ Medically Reviewed by Jack Cincotta

dark mode on iphone


For most people, smartphones have become an indispensable part of life. Whether it’s checking the news in the morning or scrolling social media before bed, a late-night routine with your phone can be difficult to break.

Chances are you’ve heard of “Dark Theme” for smartphones, but what does that actually mean? It’s no secret that the blue light emitted from our phones can be harmful to eye health and cause various vision issues, such as eye strain. But when it comes to deciding whether you should utilize Dark theme, you probably have some questions. What exactly is this mode on your phone, and is Dark theme better for your eyes

Let’s explore how Dark theme works, the benefits it offers, and discuss additional tips for reducing blue light exposure.

What is Dark Theme?

Dark theme, also known as Dark mode, is a setting that’s available on almost all modern smartphones. It changes the colour temperature of your screen towards warmer parts of the colour spectrum, resulting in what appears to be a “darker” light mode. It makes the entire display darker and limits the amount of blue light exposure that the user has to come in contact with. This change not only applies to the phone’s home page and interface, but will typically extend to most apps as well.

Is Dark Mode Better for Your Eyes?

We’ll give you the short answer again: yes, Dark mode is better for your eyes for a variety of reasons. Because smartphones in a normal setting produce high amounts of blue light, phone usage at night can trick your brain into thinking that you need to stay awake and alert. 

Blue light disrupts your sleep cycle because it signals to your brain that it’s daytime. In other words, this type of light essentially tells your brain to “wake up,” resulting in the brain producing chemicals to help you stay alert. This disrupts your circadian rhythm, suppressing melatonin production and making it harder to fall and stay asleep.

circadian clock

So does dark mode reduce blue light? The short answer is yes, the whole point is to reduce exposure to harmful blue light. But how exactly is Dark theme better for your eyes

Despite the fact that blue light can disrupt your circadian cycles and have a serious impact on sleep, most people spend time on their devices throughout the day — including right before bed. While most of us know it’s not ideal that we use our phones right before going to sleep, we do so anyway. 

So does night light help your eyes adjust and prepare your body for sleep? You bet! While it doesn’t eliminate blue light entirely, it reduces the amount emitted. When paired with a set of sleep glasses, Dark Mode allows us to continue scrolling through emails or send that last text before calling it lights out.

blue light blocking glasses

So we now know that blue light messes with your sleep. But does Dark mode help your eye health specifically? Turning your phone on Dark mode can lower the strain on your eyes, reducing risk of eye fatigue, dry eyes, vision problems, and even headaches. Additionally, limiting your exposure to blue light can reduce the frequency of migraines and insomnia.

The main reason Dark theme has become increasingly popular is that it can help reduce the strain on the eyes and lessens symptoms of blue light exposure. If you’re experiencing trouble sleeping, frequent headaches, or eye strain, it might be time to give Dark mode a try. 

Is Dark or Light Mode Better for Eyes During the Day?

Because it’s called “Dark Mode,” does that mean you should only use it after dark? Is Dark theme better for your eyes or is Dark mode bad for your eyes throughout the day? 

There’s really no harm to using Dark Mode throughout the day, although you may experience difficulty seeing your screen while outside in the sun. But if you want to reduce your blue light exposure throughout the day, you’re welcome to use Dark Mode. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter during the day, but we highly recommend using it at night.  

Additional Tips for Reducing Blue Light Exposure

So, is Night Mode better for eye health? Or is there a more comprehensive form of protection? It’s important to remember that Dark mode still emits some blue light. It's essential to block all blue light after sunset if you want improved sleep. 

Dark mode is just one solution for reducing eye strain and improving sleep quality. And while it does have its place in your nighttime routine, you should consider additional steps you can take to protect your eyes and ensure that your circadian rhythm remains consistent, providing you with a good night’s sleep every time.

The easiest way to reduce the amount of blue light you’re exposed to before bed is to simply limit your screen time. That way, you won’t have to worry about screen settings and will allow your body to naturally produce melatonin, making it much easier to fall asleep and wake up refreshed in the morning.

If you want to use your phone at night, you can try combining Dark mode with specially-designed glasses for sleeping. This can help further reduce the effects of using your phone before bed. Spend a lot of time in front of other types of screens before bed? Invest in a pair of gaming glasses or computer glasses to keep that blue light from tricking your brain into thinking it’s daytime.

What about kids? Is Dark mode better for eyes of all ages, or is it limited to adults? While Dark mode can help when your kids are playing on their iPads or other devices, we recommend investing in a pair of blue light glasses for kids for full protection. 

You can also turn your phone screen red which can help with melatonin production and improve sleep.

Protect Your Sleep with BON CHARGE

Utilising Dark theme on your phone can help reduce the strain on your eyes and limit your exposure to blue light. However, if you’re looking to improve your sleep quality and maintain your eye health, updating your phone settings might not be enough.

improve your sleep

That’s why at BON CHARGE, we specialise in providing high-quality eyewear that’s designed to protect your eyes from blue light and allow you to enjoy quality sleep. Each pair of BON CHARGE glasses is formulated with only the highest-quality materials, built by experts in our specialist optics laboratory.

Blocking up to 100% of blue light and green light, BON CHARGE offers market-leading blue light protection for all ages. Get the most out of your days by taking charge of your nights. Check out our collection of nighttime glasses today! 

Back to blog
1 of 3