At the end of a long day, all most of us want to do is relax. For a majority of people, that now means interacting with some kind of electronic device. Whether you play video games, watch Netflix, check social media, or even use an E-reader, everyone seems to be using screens. Unfortunately, the end of the day also falls closer to bed time. Screens and bedtime, as you’ll see, don’t mix.
Blue Light and Bedtime
The blue light of the sun signals our brains, through our eyes, when to sleep and when to wake. Introducing additional blue light, from any source, can cause confusion in our circadian rhythm (sleep cycle). Here’s the problem: all of your screens emit a LOT of blue light. So, come bedtime, you’ve been winding down for a few hours staring a screen, and you find that you don’t feel sleepy.
The reason for the altered sleep cycle comes from a chemical in the body called melatonin. You may have heard of, or even have taken melatonin in pill form as a natural supplement. Melatonin is the chemical created by your body that controls sleepiness. When the sun comes out, your eyes tell your brain to stop producing it. When you use blue light emitting devices at night, your brain gets the same signal.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
The best way to help yourself feel more sleepy at bedtime would be to simply cut out the use of blue light emitting devices. Since many of us enjoy our relaxation time with our devices, we offer another solution. Reuters put out an article describing the effects of “blue-light blocking glasses.”
The article describes a study in which a group of teenage boys submitted to an experiment with glasses designed to block blue light. The teens all wore a pair of the glasses from 6pm until bedtime every night for a set period. These boys were encouraged to use their devices, play games, do their normal thing. Throughout the time they kept sleep journals, and described the difference. All participants reported feeling sleepier when wearing the glasses before bed.
At the end of the study they brought the group of boys into the lab overnight. They had them perform the same as they had at home. This time half were given clear glasses, and half were given blue light blocking glasses. They tested the participants’ saliva. The findings were that those wearing the blue-blockers had higher levels of melatonin.
What does it mean?
You may not feel the need to wear computer glasses all the time. If you must choose only one time, choose before bed. The findings of this promising study should encourage everyone who already takes pains to protect their eyes in the way described. For those who don’t yet, what are you waiting for?
When choosing a pair of blue-light blocking glasses, go with GUNNAR. Our BLPF outranks all competitors. Our patented lens technology guarantees to block the most blue light possible. Whether you want glasses for gaming, professional programing, or even sunglasses, GUNNAR has got you covered.