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Insomnia and Chronic Fatigue are so common. Statistics show that up to 48% of people do not get enough sleep. Learn this simple, inexpensive tip that has been shown to help people maximize sleep. Next in our blog series, we look at blue light blocking glasses, why you need a pair and compare a few different kinds. Please read on for the details!
We evolved with sunlight. For the past 100 years, we have had artificial light from lighting and lamps similar in spectrum to sunlight (O'Hagan JB, 2016). Now, in an effort to conserve energy and be more environmentally-friendly, this lighting is being replaced by low energy lighting in the form of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) (O'Hagan JB, 2016).
** Please note: If you want the longer, more detailed version of this article, then please click here **
What Is Blue Light?
Light comes in different types, according to the visible light spectrum. Blue light is a type of light, or a range on the light spectrum. Technically, it has a wavelength between 400 and 525 nm.
Sources of blue light include electronic devices such as smart phones, laptop computers, tablets, energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs and LED (light emitting diodes) lights.
What are the Dangers of Blue Light?
Exposure to artificial blue light at night has negative health effects (Cho YM, 2015):
- Blue light suppresses the body’s production of melatonin (Bonmati-Carrion MA, 2014).
- As a result of less melatonin, blue light increases the time it takes to fall asleep and increases alertness at night (Cho YM, 2015).
- Blue light at night disrupts the circadian rhythm (Cho YM, 2015).
- Many people do shift or night work, which exposes them to night time blue light (Touitou Y, 2017). Studies done on nurses show a link between night shift work and a 50-100% higher incidence of breast cancer (Touitou Y, 2017). This is related to the suppression of melatonin secretion, sleep deprivation and circadian rhythm disruption (Touitou Y, 2017).
- Shift and/or night work generally decreases the total time a person sleeps, so they become sleep-deprived (Touitou Y, 2017). Sleep deprivation has serious health implications.
- Disruption to the circadian rhythm affects health. It can lead to higher rates of certain diseases; metabolic syndrome, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, cognitive impairment, premature aging, obesity, mood disorders and age-related macular degeneration (Touitou Y, 2017) and (Bonmati-Carrion MA, 2014).
- Blue light can negatively affect the retina of the eye (O'Hagan JB, 2016). Blue light may cause cataract or macular degeneration (Renard G, 2016).
For these reasons it is best to avoid bright lights in the evening. We want our melatonin production to be maximized in the evening to support good sleep. Filtering out bright lights in any way can help you sleep better.
How Can Blue Light Blocking Glasses Help?
This all sound pretty depressing, especially given our increasing use and dependence on new types of lighting and screens in the evening. But there is something you can do to reduce your health risks and not have to spend the evening in total darkness!
Blue light blocking glasses are a great option. They have special lenses designed to block or filter out the blue light from digital screens. There are many studies supporting the benefit of blue light blocking glasses.
There are a number of blue light blocking glasses available on the market. There are some reviews but not a lot of research on which glasses are best. If you look, for example, on Amazon, there is a huge choice of glasses, at all sorts of different prices.
So How Do You Choose a Pair of Blue Light Blocking Glasses?
It is best to get glasses that block 90% or more of blue light. Glasses that block 50-80% of blue light are less effective.
Should the Lens be Amber or Clear?
The darkness of the lens indicates how much blue light is blocked out. Darker lenses are better for night time use. Amber lenses are more effective in blocking out blue light. People wearing blue blocking amber lens glasses had improved sleep quality relative to people with yellow tinted glasses that block ultraviolet light (Burkhart K, 2009). They also had better mood (Burkhart K, 2009). Amber lenses helped with melatonin production and a shorter time to fall asleep (Esaki, 2016).
Here are a few blue light blocking glasses available on Amazon.com that we like:
Eyekepper Brand, Price = $3.99
These glasses have orange tinted lenses. They block 89-99% of blue light. The frame material is made of plastic. The price is extremely reasonable. You can see more here.
4EST Shades Brand, Price = $29.99
These blue light block glasses reduce 97% of blue light. The lenses are amber. The price is very reasonable. In addition, the arms of the frame are made of bamboo, which is more environmentally-friendly than using plastic. The company plants two trees for every pair of bamboo glasses sold. You can see more here.
Sleep ZM Brand, Price = $39.88
These blue blocking glasses filter out 99.9% of blue light. The lenses are deep amber orange. You can see more here.
TrueDark Brand, Price = $89.00
These are a ‘fitover’ pair that fits over your own pair of prescription glasses. They block 75% of blue light, which is not quite high enough for us, according to the research. You can see more here.
BLUblox Brand, Price = $144.95
These glasses block 100% of all blue light. They claim to be the only glasses that block 100%. The lenses are reddish/amber. You can see more here.
It’s clear that blocking blue light at night will help your sleep and overall health to improve. If you would like more help in selecting a pair of blue light blocking glasses, get in touch with our clinic.
** Please stay tuned for our next blog on more peptide therapy **
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Dr. Miles Nichols and Dr. Diane Mueller have spoken for the following organizations: