Looking to the Past
Imagine for a moment that you traveled back in time to the early 1700s. No phones, computers, flat-screen TVs, tablets, fancy electronic billboards, and the like. You now live in a time where candlelight, lanterns, and the sun light your way. As the sun comes up in the morning, your body senses the natural light (specifically, blue light along the 400 to 450 nanometer range). Your brain stops producing melatonin, the natural hormone that causes sleepiness. Instead, at sunrise, your brain starts producing other hormones such as cortisol to help you wake up. Once the sun goes down and darkness overtakes the light, your brain reverses its morning ritual and you rest peacefully. Everyone, past and present, takes part in the process just described called circadian rhythm.
Back to the Future
Fast forward to the present. Our connection to natural blue light through circadian rhythm caused no serious problems in the past. In the present, however, a different story emerges. Eyes glued to phones throughout the day, everyone staring at multiple monitors at work and at home, and most people finishing off the day inches from a digital device. Everyone finds themselves bathed in high-energy visible [HEV] artificial blue light long after the sun sets. As you might have guessed, things, from this point, get complicated and unhealthy. As the only wavelength that penetrates straight to your retina, blue light has been linked to macular degeneration. Blue light, as we said above, triggers certain chemicals under “natural” circumstances. Unfortunately, blasting your eyes with artificial blue light all day and night disrupts your circadian rhythm. Without precautions, you end up sleeping less, and your eyes end up burning and feeling strained.
For more info on how blue light adversely affects your sleep, check out the recent article from Live Science. For an even more detailed look at the negatives associated with blue light, you can read Harvard Medical School’s full report on the subject.
Modern Problem, Modern Solution
Aside from putting your devices away permanently, what can be done? In recent updates, to software and operating systems, many developers offer the option of turning on “night mode.” This helpful feature changes the color palate of your device from cool to warm. Translation: such settings adjustments limit blue light exposure, at least right before bed. Doing so can help restore your sleep cycle.
What about throughout the rest of the day? GUNNAR Optiks can help! Our blue light blocking glasses provide the protection you need to get your sleep cycle under control. Furthermore, our patented lens technology is specifically designed to fight the eye strain associated with regular digital device usage.
If anything in this post rang true to your personal experience, your next step shouldn’t be hard to plan. Update your phone’s settings for night mode, and check out what GUNNAR has to offer. We offer a 30 day trial period. If you don’t feel the difference send them back. But, we get the feeling you won’t be sending them back!