Blue Light Blocking Glasses: Do They Improve Your Sleep? My Review
Sleep is so vitally important for our physical and mental health (and dare I say our sanity!) so if you aren’t getting the quality or amount of sleep that you need, can a pair of glasses be the answer for you?
I personally believe that sleep is one of the most, if not THE most important factors in maintaining or recovering our health because without a solid night sleep, you face:
Fatigue and exhaustion
Cortisol surges leaving you wired and tired
Increased instances of colds and the flu and other immune problems
Greater anxiety and depression
Lack of motivation, desire, libido,
And the list goes on!
Many factors can influence sleep and we can address many of these physiological and mental/emotional factors with regular acupuncture treatments. And yet, a very important piece for getting quality sleep involves what you do each night at home BEFORE bedtime.
This step is where I find most of my patients struggle- their habits before bedtime which negatively impact their sleep quality. We go, go, go all day only thinking about sleep as soon as our head hits the pillow and then we wonder why we don’t immediately fall asleep or why we don’t get a solid night’s rest that leaves us refreshed and ready to go come morning.
Screen Time at Night Negatively Affects Sleep
One of the main factors influencing sleep that can be easily remedied is our amount of screen time before bed. Screen time can include watching your favorite TV show, reading on your iPad or e-reader, playing video games, playing a game on your favorite app or checking out Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest on your phone.
Unfortunately, all these screens use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) which emit light that appears white but which actually has a high blue light emission. Natural sunlight, like LED light, is blue light rich which signals your body that it’s time to wake up and be alert. However artificial light with LEDs expose our body’s to blue light long past when they are supposed to after sunset. Looking at a screen emitting blue light before bedtime has shown to:
Increase the time to fall sleep
Reduce evening sleepiness
Reduce melatonin secretion (the hormone that regulates sleep cycles!)
Disrupt the timing of one’s circadian clock
Reduce next-morning alertness
We have so many screens vying for our attention, and they can be a great way to escape or unwind at the end of the day, but at what cost?
The recommendation now is to power down at least one to two hours before bed to give your body a chance to naturally wind down and prepare for sleep (though I also read that it’s actually best to power down 3-4 hours before bed!). If this is just unrealistic on a daily basis, then the alternative could be blue light blocking glasses.
Using Blue Light Blocking Glasses to Improve Sleep
Blue light blocking glasses do just that: they block the blue light emission from the LEDs that power our various screens. Blocking the blue light will enable your body to stay in its natural circadian rhythm with melatonin levels naturally increasing soon after sunset in preparation for sleep.
The glasses I purchased also have a special coating, so not only can blue light blocking glasses aid your sleep quality at night, but if you stare at a computer screen for work most days, they can offer additional benefits if you wear also them during the day such as:
Reduction in headaches/migraines
Reduction in eye strain
Reduction in screen glare
My Experience with Blue Light Blocking Glasses
I began wearing blue-light blocking glasses when I started reading more on my iPad at night and began having more difficulty falling asleep when I was ready for bed. I put them on around 7:30pm and keep them on until I go to bed around 10:30pm. Almost immediately, I noticed a difference within the first night or two of wearing them! I could not only fall asleep much quicker, but I felt like I finally had a much deeper sleep as well since I didn’t wake up at all in the middle of the night.
I remember looking into blue-light blocking glasses a number of years ago but just didn’t pull the trigger on buying some funky looking yellow pair. It’s so easy today however to find blue-light blocking glasses that look just like regular glasses without the yellow lenses and which are super stylish. I bought this pair and have been so happy with them I haven’t felt the need to try another. An added bonus is that they were really quite affordable. They are also feather light that I often forget that I’m wearing them.
But I already wear regular prescription glasses you might be saying! Well, I often take my contacts out at night and have my regular, prescription glasses on as well. This blue light blocking pair actually sits right in front of my prescription ones and I don’t even notice that I’m wearing two pairs until my kids point and remind me! If you need a pair to wear at work or out and about, there are several companies that can offer prescription glasses with blue-light blocking lenses so that could be an option for you.
Without a doubt, my blue light blocking glasses have been a purchase well worth the small investment as they have paid dividends on my sleep quality!
Do you use a pair of blue light blocking glasses? How have they impacted your sleep? Let me know in the comments below!