The sun, if you lived in the wilderness, would wake you up every day. While sleeping in a well-lit place certainly isn’t easy, the reason the sun keeps you awake goes deeper. The blue light emitted from the sun controls sleep cycle, through the eyes. Blue light activates the protein melanopsin, contained behind the eye, which reduces the body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin creates sleepiness. Less melatonin, less desire for sleep. When your body experiences excess blue light beyond that normally emitted by the sun, whatever the source, it can affect sleep cycle. Exposing yourself to blue light just before bed makes for even worse sleep. Today, the relevance of this applies to a scientific study about the affect of amber tinted lenses in improving sleep.
Sources of Blue Light
In addition to the sun, in our world we experience constant exposure to blue light. The main culprits are our digital devices. Cell phones, computers, tablets, televisions, e-readers, and so on all have screens that emit blue light. Staring at these screens bathes our eyes in blue light at even higher levels than spending time outside on a sunny day. Even worse? Most of us use our devices the most right before bed. Predictably, sleep goes down as such device use goes up.
Amber lenses allow less blue light to pass through than clear lenses. The study mentioned above theorizes that the use of colored lenses which intentionally block out blue light might improve sleep. Given our almost constant exposure to blue light today, such a theory makes sense before the study even begins.
The researchers took a randomized selection of participants, giving some amber tinted glasses to block blue light, and others yellow lenses to block only UV light. They had participants wear the glasses for three hours prior to sleep for two weeks. Participants kept nightly diaries tracking their status. The measures researchers sought to capture were sleep quality and mood. They used statistical analysis to test the results.
Analysis yielded a statistically significant different between those with yellow lenses and those with amber. The participants wearing amber lenses reported better sleep, and better mood. While the outcomes are considered “subjective,” the results still suggest interesting application.
No perfectly conclusive study is necessary to take seriously the idea in the study. Avoiding the negative effects of blue light stands in the best interest of anyone using digital devices. Even the prospect of improved sleep quality and mood should bring running anyone who knows how hard dealing with these issues can be. Certainly not everyone will read this study and clamor for the nearest blue light blocking glasses. Those who know, however, know that taking advantage of this possibility can only redound to their benefit.
More research exists showing the benefits of such glasses. Look into it if this one study leaves you unconvinced. If you want to take the next step, check out our great selection of computer glasses. We have several lens varieties to suit every need. GUNNAR’s patented lens technology offers the highest BLPF of any computer glasses on the market. Get yours today!