Why Blue Light Glasses Could Be The Key to a Good Night’s Sleep
Sure, you’ve heard it all before; one of the key pillars of optimal health is sleep. However, both the average quality and time spent sleeping have fallen below that of the past. Whilst a good night’s sleep can contribute to feelings of wellbeing, promote energy and boost productivity, poor sleep has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and obesity.
Needless to say, the need to get enough good quality sleep cannot be understated. Whilst there are a few lifestyle changes that can contribute to better sleep quality such as, waking up early, burning energy during the day, and eating a well-balanced diet; thanks to technological advancements, we can now rely on sleep-enhancing accessories.
The effects of amber tinted glasses and blue light goggles on melatonin production: (The Atlantic)
Studies have found that the use of artificial lighting at home, and electronic screens in the evening contribute to sleep problems. Computer glasses could be the answer. These artificial lights and devices emit light of a blue wavelength, which in a way, tricks the brain into thinking it’s daytime. Blue light in the evening disrupts the brain’s natural sleep-wake cycles – of which are important for overall optimal health.
Impact of blue light
In short, the human body has a human clock that regulates the circadian rhythm. This is basically the 24-hour biological cycle that maintains and adjusts many important internal functions. The most important of which is that it can determine when your body is ready for being awake by picking up on cues from your external environment, such as light.
Blue wavelength light, in particular, stimulates the sensors in your eyes and sends specific signals to the brain’s clock-like feature. Even sunlight contains blue-light to some degree. It’s this element of blue-light from the sun that helps to keep us awake during the day and contributes to our performance and mood.
Whilst blue-light is incredibly useful for treating depression, reducing fatigue, and improving productivity at work; unsurprisingly, it is of no use when it comes to helping us sleep. After hours of staring into a computer screen, the body’s internal clock is disrupted the body’s ability to sleep is reduced.
Blocking out blue light
One of the simplest, cost-effective and convenient ways to avoid blue-light exposure is to look for some blue-light glasses online. These amber-tinted glasses effectively block out blue light from entering the eye – even when spending hours at a computer screen or underneath artificial light. In such a case, the brain doesn’t receive the signal that it should stay awake.
Studies have found that when people use blue light glasses, even when using electronic devices, produce just as much melatonin as if it were dark. In other words, the glasses effectively block out blue-light from entering the eye – just as if it were dark.
In fact, one study compared people’s melatonin levels in the evening, across dim light, bright light and bright light with amber-tinted glasses. It found that the bright light completely suppressed melatonin production and the dim light did not. Those wearing blue light glasses produced the same amount of melatonin as those exposed to dim light.
Blue light glasses may well be the key to a good night’s sleep and have been found to spur major improvements in sleep quality and mental performance during the day. A 2-week study found that the individuals who used blue light glasses for just three hours before bedtime experienced significant improvements to the quality of their sleep and their respective moods the following day.
These findings are particularly valuable for those working long hours, or evening shifts who are expected to wake up the following day feeling refreshed. As we know blue light does, indeed, have an effect on our sleep quality and resultant mood. Since blue-light glasses improve sleep and significantly reduce daytime dysfunction, we can expect a largely more productive and healthier society as blue light glasses are rolled out.
With that said, it’s not yet definitive as to whether blue light glasses possess the blocking powers they claim to have. Nevertheless, they undeniably provide some benefits and studies have linked their use directly to a better night’s sleep.