For the last few months, I’ve been wearing blue light blocking glasses in the evenings. I’ve noticed a big improvement in my sleep – especially my deep sleep. And I experience just a calmer, more relaxed feeling in the evenings. Could blue light blocking glasses help you?
In last week’s post about how light and dark can affect your circadian rhythm, we looked at how our body changes between the daytime in the light and nighttime in the dark. There are many systems that are affected. It’s not just about having a good amount of sleep, it’s also about having time for the body to repair, and is associated with changes in our gene expression, our immune system, and more.
Light and lack of light are the key factors in controlling our circadian rhythm. With our use of electric light bulbs and television screens, computer screens, etc., our dark time is diminished. Thus the time for our dark physiology is diminished and this may lead to health issues.
What our electronics and light bulbs have changed is our exposure to much more blue light at night. This can be seen to be a stress to the body, as it tries to maintain a stable rhythm, without stable cues from our environment.
The photoreceptors in our eyes that monitor the light and dark are most sensitive to blue light over other wavelengths of light. Obviously, we don’t want to give up on light bulbs, nor our computers and phones – the very things that produce more blue light, so what are some other options?
By using blue light blocking glasses, we can filter out the most disrupting wavelengths of light. We then create a “virtual” darkness which can help the body transition into sleep and healing mode.
Blue light blocking glasses
So how do you choose and use blue light blocking glasses? Take a look at the infographic below for some ideas:
The glasses I use
I have a pair of blue light blocking glasses that fit over my reading glasses and also a regular pair.
These are the over-prescription or reading glasses pair for $19.95: Fit-over anti-blue blocking glasses.
Here is a cheaper pair that I see recommended but haven’t tried them myself, for $10.16: Uvex Skyper blue light blocking glasses.
You can also get clip-ons here to attach to your glasses for $29.95 (not on Amazon): Biorhythm clip-on lenses.
These are the regular blue light blocking glasses for $34.95: Biorhythm safe glasses
They’d make great Christmas gifts for anyone, but especially those who have trouble sleeping or find their circadian rhythm disrupted.
In addition to helping restore our circadian rhythm, blue light blocking glasses have also been shown to help with ADHD and bipolar disorder, plus eye strain and headaches.
Progression, not perfection
Obviously, we aren’t always at home every night and won’t wear them consistently at the same time every night. But we don’t need perfection. Progress will make a difference too.
Or maybe you don’t fancy the idea of another pair of glasses at all. Again, we don’t need perfection. Consider what you can do to help keep a good circadian rhythm and provide adequate dark time for healing and restoration.
It may be that you take one or more of the following steps:
- remove blue light emitting electronics from near the bed.
- use light blocking shades/curtains to stop outside street lights shining into your bedroom
- if you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, either wear blue locking glasses if you need to put the light on for safety or have a red light bulb in your bathroom which doesn’t emit blue light.
- use blue light blocking glasses when you can before bed, especially if watching television or using computer or phone screens.
It’s all about progressing towards improvement. We don’t need perfection, we need progression. Our circadian rhythm is important and worth our consideration and effort.
What steps will you take this week?