September 2016: About Blue Shade: There has been a lot of research lately concerning the way that backlit screens on tablets like the Amazon Fire affect sleep patterns for those who read on the tablet at bedtime. The bottom line seems to be that certain wavelengths of light in the blue end of the spectrum somehow suppress production of melatonin in the brain. Because melatonin is important for sleep regulation, and because it takes the brain a while to catch up with its melatonin deficit, researchers tells us that it is harder to fall asleep right after powering down the Kindle Fire. (Note that non-backlit screens like the standard e-ink Kindle Reader do not produce this effect. Nor, for that matter, does a book…;-)
Create a special filter that screens out the offending blue rays–hence the “blue shade.” When he created the Kindle, Jeff Bezos said that he wanted the reading process to be “frictionless.” I guess that now with Blue Shade the same can be said for the process of nodding off with the Kindle, set to Blue Screen, in your hands.
The other options, like avoiding screen time before bed altogether, present more sure-fire ways to keep your melatonin levels where you need them for falling asleep. One novel approach is to wear orange tinted glasses for all your screen time before bed. You may notice a change in your sleeping habits if you do!