By now you may or may not have heard the term “Blue Blocking Glasses” floating around but what exactly are they? Do they actually work? Today I’m going to break it all down and share why I personally use them.
We all know our friend ROY G BIV from elementary school – orrrrrr maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about haha. ROY G BIV is an acronym used to help identify the colors of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Indigo and Violet. The full spectrum of visible light can also be described with these colors. Electronics such as TV’s, computer screens and smart phones all produce heavy amounts of blue light and exposure for long periods of time can possibly harbor some effects. Some of these can include:
• Sleep disruption
• Eye Redness/Itchiness &
• Macular Degeneration (possible damage to retinal cells)
It’s important to note that not all blue light is bad and the sun actually produces it naturally. The issue begins with our exposure to too much artificial blue light. Because we live in an unprecedented digital age, we are basically living lab mice for these long term effects with some eye doctors and health professionals already expressing some concern about what these may be. Being that blue light can easily pass through the cornea and reach the retina, this could potentially impact our vision in the long run – but again only time will tell as more data is accumulated.
Aside from eye troubles though, blue wavelengths may also be the reason you’re not sleeping well. Each color’s wavelength produces different effects with blue being shown to alter energy levels, mood and attention spans. Blue light has been proven to mess with our melatonin levels which can explain why you’re up til three am scrolling on the ‘Gram. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It’s most primary function is to help control our sleep/wake cycles also known as our “circadian rhythm”.
According to a study conducted by Harvard and published by Harvard Medical School,
“While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).”
Essentially, with blue light entering our eyes (especially at night), our brains delay the production of melatonin (the stuff that tells us to go to bed) and we stay up longer because “we just can’t fall asleep”. The problems don’t stop there though.
If you think your lack of sleep only contributes to your grumpy mood and sluggish energy, think again. An even more alarming study conducted by Harvard has found a potential connection between lack of sleep to an increased risk of diabetes, obesity and depression. Harvard researchers put 10 people on a schedule that gradually altered their circadian rhythms to study the effects. In doing so, the subjects’ blood sugar levels increased, throwing them into a pre-diabetic state. Their levels of leptin (a hormone that leaves people feeling full after a meal) also decreased.
“Light at night is part of the reason so many people don’t get enough sleep,” says Stephen Lockley, a Harvard sleep researcher. Researchers have also gone on to link lack of sleep to increased risk for depression and cardiovascular problems.
In short, our increased use of electronics is posing a potentially serious problem. An obvious solution is to decrease our daily screen time – especially at night – but for many of us, work requires it. Here’s where blue blocking glasses may help.
Blue Blocking Glasses
Blue Blockers are glasses that filter out wavelengths from the blue end of the spectrum. The lens’ in the glasses absorb blue light and act as a barrier between your eyes and the screen. They also contain an anti-glare feature that reduces strain on the eyes.
As someone who spends large periods of time in front of a screen for work, I knew I needed to give them a try. I noticed my headaches decreased and my eyes felt less strained when working. When I began using them at night I also found that I fell asleep with less trouble. I also love that they can also be fashionable and received a ton of compliments while wearing them too!
Trying Blue Blocking glasses for yourself
There are tons of places that currently sell them but if you’re interested and need a recommendation check out Blue Planet Eco-Eyewear. They kindly gifted me a pair last year and what I love most about them is their commitment to sustainability. All of their glasses are made from recycled materials and they also plant a tree with every purchase! It also helps that all of their styles are SUPER cute too. I have the “Indie Blue Light Reader” in Crystal Clear but they have tons more to choose from here. My code “Chantel20” saves you money too!
For more discounts on products, be sure to check out my “exclusive discounts page“)
I hope this post was helpful and remember to cut down on screen time!
Til next time.