› How To See In The Dark

How To See In The Dark. 17 Easy Ways To Improve Your Night Vision 

Searching for how to see in the dark better had been my long time crusade. 

How to see in the dark

Even though it is common that our eyesight drop tremendously at night, mine is to the extreme.

I am blind as a bat at night and sadly without the ability to create and detect ultrasonic sounds.

During my army days, I was known as a night ‘bobo’ shooter (meaning a crossed-eye shooter who can't hit anything).

When it comes to night shooting, I always score an amazing zero hit even if I get marksman during the day.

Thankfully, today I am not longer blinded by night. Though I am not a night sharpshooter yet, I can at least get 60% hits.

Here are some ways which I had learnt over the years to get night vision.

They will not be able to let you read perfectly without light like Nong Youhui but they will improve your night vision.

How To See In The Dark

Now 17 tips on how to improve your night vision.

Tip 1: Use Your Peripheral Vision

Rods And Cones

Our retina contains two types of photoreceptor cells- rod and cone.

While the cones are more sensitive to color, the rods are better at motion detection and works better in low light.

Rods are almost entirely responsible for our night vision.

As the rods are concentrated around our retina, to use them effectively, try not to look directly at something you want to see.

Instead, slightly avert your eyes and glance by sideways. This way, you will be using more rods.

Tip 2: Be A Pirate!

Ahoy Mate!

Ever wonder why pirates like to wear eye patch? It wasn't always due to vanity (covering up a sword poked eye). 

Other than it looks cool, some pirates wear one so that the eye that was covered would become sensitive to light, and would only be used for navigating at night.

Even Myth Buster had tested and deemed the myth plausible

So next time if you are moving into darkness, keep one hand on one eye and try looking from the other eye when moving from light to dark or dark to light.

Tip 3: Put On Sunglasses

Put on sunglasses during the day. Your ability to adjust to darkness can be reduced by 10 minutes with just 2 hours of bright light exposure.

Just 10 consecutive days of unfiltered sunlight exposure can cause you 50% loss in night vision

However, too little light isn't good for your eyes either.

For optimal result, wear sunglasses that reduce light in the entire visible spectrum and transmit at most 15% of visible light.

Wondering about the differences between polarized and non-polarized? Find out more in our article Polarized vs Non-polarized sunglasses.

Tip 4: Become Cyclops

Oh yeah, put on those cool red tinted glasses or goggles which Scott Summer wears. Even though it is a pity that we can't shoot laser from our eyes, we can still look dangerously good.

It is a common practice for pilots to put on red tinted lenses when preparing for night-flying if they don’t have time to darkness adaptation. 

Red-tinted lens works by filtering out everything in the visible spectrum except red.

Since the rods in our eye rods aren't sensitive to red, the glasses create an illusion of darkness for your eyes to start adjusting to low light.

Tip 5: Embrace The Way Of Ninja

Ninja time!

Laying low is a skill which you have to learn to become a ninja.

In Ninjutsu, students are told get lower than what they are trying to see in order to see it better in the dark.

This may work as the object is back-lit by any light source such as moon, stars and street lamps.

Tip 6: Practice Makes Perfect

Get night vision by training yourself in safe environment first. Purposely put yourself in dark rooms and get your eyes to adapt to dark environments.

Move slowly using one step at a time by sliding your legs gently (using your toes sense) to prevent yourself from hitting hard objects.

Always keep two legs on the ground for stability. This helps to reduce chance of losing your balance and tripping over.

Keep your hand in front (like push up position) so that you wouldn't hit into a wall. Keep your head low to avoid obstacles that may be hanging from the ceiling.  

Overtime, you will find that your dark vision has improved.

Don't you think that the show is a wonderful place to train night vision?

It is a pretty safe environment after all~ Just a bit freaky.

Tip 7: Identify Shapes And Contrast

Outline the shapes

At night, we primarily use our rod cells than the cones.

Rod cells are better at detecting shapes than colors. It is also much more light sensitive but they can only differentiate between white and black.

To effectively use them, try searching for shapes, outlines, contours and movement rather than colors since we humans are almost completely colorblind in the dark anyway.

Tip 8: Keep Your Eyes Moving

Try not to stare at one object as it will cause your eyes to adapt to whatever light source that is available at the point of your focus.

Dance your eyes around, scan the area and you would be able to see better in dark. Keep blinking too to avoid your rod cells from desensitizing. 

Tip 9: Allow Ample Adjustment Time

Give yourself ample time for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Keep your eyes closed first when you are entering a dark environment from a well lit one.

It takes about 25 minutes for our eyes to be able to fully adapt in the dark. Avoid any source of bright light as they can hinder your process of adaptation.

Tip 10: Use Red Light

If you need light to see something crucially (such as map or the expiry date of your food) but wanted to avoid losing your adjusted night vision, use a red light or place a red lens over your light source.

Red light does not affect your rod cells and allows your night vision to stay.

Tip 11: Avoid Bright Light

Ahhhhh!! Flash Blindness

Notice how deer stayed stiff frozen when your headlight blast onto them at night?

This is because they are experiencing flash blindness. It is not that they do not want to avoid you, they can't see you coming towards them during this period of blindness.  

You probably had similar experience when at night, someone comes around a corner and blasts their headlight onto you. 

Even though the bright light may not cause you complete blindness, it does hinder your night vision considerably.

Turn your gaze to the side and avoid the light directly. If you can't avoid the light, close one eye to avoid flash blindness in both eyes.

Sometimes looking at the bright side of life just don’t work well enough.

Tip 12: Clean The Surface

A quick and often neglected way to improve night vision immediately. Any dirt and debris on your lenses can scatter light, making it difficult to see at night.

Many times, all you need to do is to clean your glasses. Clean your windshield if you are driving.

Tip 13: Stop Smoking

There are studies that shown that smokers are 2 times more prone to night accidents than non-smokers.

Nicotine and the hypoxic effect from carbon monoxide reduces your night vision.

Just by avoiding both first and second hand smoking can help improve night vision.

Tip 14: Eat Some Bilberry Jam

Pilots from British Royal Air Force during World War II were taught to spread bilberry jam on their toast to improve night vision.

It may sounds like a myth but bilberry is rich in anthocyanosides, a form of flavonoid which helps to regenerate the purple pigments in the eye that are used to see in the dark. 

Interestingly, the carrots myth was created during World War II to hide this fact from the Japanese.

Try taking two teaspoons of bilberry juice daily but don’t take more than 3 as overdose can have laxative effect.

Tip 15: Sweetify

Imitate the Soviet Special Forces secret method.

During World War II, the special unit were taught to eat a sugar cube to improve night vision.

This is because night vision is dependent on blood sugar levels.

But take it in moderate please... I don't want your dentist to be knocking on my door.

Tip 16: Take Eye Vitamins

Grab a free bottle now!

Many times night blindness is caused by deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and zinc.

With today’s heretic and nutrient lacking dietary habits, taking eye vitamins can make up for deficiencies in the diet and allow our eye to function at its best.

Grab a free bottle of Ocu Plus eye vitamins and see the difference yourself.

Tip 17: Doing Eye Exercises

I contribute this to my major night vision improvement. A daily routine of eye exercises can help improve both your night and day vision. 

Try doing them first thing in the morning when your eyes are still fresh for optimal effect.


This ends our How To See In The Dark chapter.  

To conclude, in order to see better in the dark, you need to adopt good vision habit, train hard and eat right.

Give yourself time and train your eyes to see in the dark. Over time, you will see significant improvement.

Hope that they can be helpful to your mission of night seeing.

Thanks for reading!



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