Is Wearing Blue Light Glasses Before Bed A Must?


Does Blue light Really effect sleep?

You might already have your blue light glasses and might be wondering that should you wear it every day before bed. Blue light has been a trend recently with marketing campaigns telling that it is very detrimental to the eyes. Some experts suggest that if you decide to wear blue light glasses, wear it at night before going to sleep.

Wearing Blue Light glasses before bed is a good practice. Research already demonstrated that using blue light blocking glasses at least 2 hours before bedtime improved their subject’s sleep quality. A good sleep is a marker for good health and wearing blue light filtering glasses can really help with it.

According to the Pew Research Center, they found out that 68% of adults in the US alone own a smartphone. From people 18-29, 86% own them and 83% for people 30-49. Another report from the Common Sense Media reported that 72% of children age 0-8 used mobile devices and 93% of teens have access to blue light emitting devices.

This causes a lot of concern to the experts as sleep duration of people has been going down these past few decades.

Should You wear blue light glasses before bed?

You should wear blue light glasses before bed because it helps in the regulation of your sleep. Studies have found that blue light can affect how deeply you sleep and how quickly you can fall asleep. This is because our eyes are very sensitive to blue light which is one of the important sleep hormone regulators.

The hormone causing this is what is called melatonin. In fact, multiple research has studied the effects of blue light in our body’s melatonin production.

Melatonin is a hormone which prepares our body to fall asleep. Without proper regulation of this hormone, there will be a disruption in a person’s sleep.

One of which is a research paper published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. This study concluded that blue light itself can cause melatonin suppression in humans.

In the study, subjects are exposed to blue light from 2:00 to 3:00AM which is common to people nowadays. In the results, they have found a significant reduction the participant’s plasma melatonin which is another term for the amount of melatonin in their blood.

Since melatonin is an important factor in regulating sleep, this concludes that blue light has been affecting sleep. This is why blue light should be suppressed at night and blue light glasses can do a great job.

But the question is, how long should we wear blue light glasses?

Source: West, Kathleen E., et al. “Blue Light from Light-Emitting Diodes Elicits a Dose-Dependent Suppression of Melatonin in Humans.Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 110, no. 3, 2011, pp. 619–26. Crossref, doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01413.2009.

How Long Should you wear Blue Light Glasses

It is recommended to wear blue light glasses at least 2 hours before bedtime. This is because research finds out that there is a significant difference in a person’s melatonin levels if they are exposed to blue light for 2 hours. Melatonin affects the person circadian rhythm and blue light mainly regulates this hormone.

Blue light from artificial sources such as television and computer screens are actually very small and minimal compared to sunlight.

But because our eyes or more specifically the photoreceptors from our eyes are very sensitive to this kind of light, even as minimal as blue light from screens can affect our circadian rhythm or more commonly known as sleep cycle.

And research has found out that because it is not the intensity of light that matters, it is the duration of exposure to blue light.

In the study from the Applied Ergonomics found out that 1 hour exposure from blue light doesn’t significantly affect human melatonin blood levels but 2 or more hours can impose a significant difference.

Thus, if you want blue light glasses to work at its fullest for you, consider wearing it at least 2 hours prior to bed time. That way, blue light won’t affect your sleep and you can use the glasses to its fullest.

Source: Wood, Brittany et al. “Light level and duration of exposure determine the impact of self-luminous tablets on melatonin suppression.” Applied ergonomics vol. 44,2 (2013): 237-40. doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2012.07.008

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is a specific spectrum of light from 400 to 525nm with the visible spectrum from 400-700nm. These light include not just the blue color but also cyan and purple. They are also called High-energy visible light (HEV light) due to its frequency.

Although blue light has been proven that it can cause some problems with the eye such as macular degeneration, these tests are still not conducted in humans. Thus, research is still inconclusive.

But the reason why this light can cause harm on animal models is that because blue light has a high energy light, it can cause oxidative damage to the tissues of an individual.

Due to this, blue light blocking glasses have been made in order to protect us.

Unlike before where we can only access this light from the sun, things have changed. This is because of the increase use of smartphones and LED lights. These technology can also emit blue light and some people say that it can cause us harm. It affects all age groups and all gender.

What do Blue Light Glasses Do?

The purpose of blue light glasses is to block the blue light from entering your eyes. That is because people claim that blue light can be harmful on us. It has been linked to some eye diseases such as age related macular degeneration, and blue light affects the melatonin production in our body which regulates sleep.

Thus, blue light glasses helps us reduce blue light from entering our eyes. There are different types of blue light glasses which you can use and the difference is the amount of blue light it can reduce.

While blue light emission from artificial sources such as Led Lights, CFL bulbs, Smartphone screens, computer screens, television and tablets are very minimal compared to what we receive from the sun, the growing concern is the duration in which we receive blue light.

A study published with the title: “Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial.” where they have 15 participants wearing blue light glasses 2 hours before bed found that because of the decreased in the exposure of blue light, their subjects were able to get better sleep.

It is also worth nothing that these subjects were classified as people with insomnia based on American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Because of that, they have suggested that amber glasses which are a type of blue light glass can be a safe, affordable, and easily implemented therapeutic intervention for insomnia symptoms.

Source: Shechter, Ari et al. “Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial.” Journal of psychiatric research vol. 96 (2018): 196-202. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.10.015

What are the types of Blue Light Glasses?

Here is a table summary of the types of blue light glasses in terms of color and the blue light protection it can give.

Types of Blue Light GlassesBlue Light Protection
Clear Blue Light Glasses5-40%
Yellow Blue Light Glasses45-75%
Red Blue Light Glasses80-100%
Types of Blue Light Glasses Compared

It is also worth noting that most research papers on blue light are using Amber Blue light glasses which is a type of yellow blue light glasses. So if you want, you can use the yellow or amber blue light glass.

However, the one that can give the most blue light protections are the Red ones.

Jason

Jason Ong is a YouTuber and the one who owns this site. He shares what he learned to people and make videos if necessary. He was a former lecturer. The things he taught are topics related to Clinical Laboratory Science or what others call Medical Technology. Right now, he is also working part-time in an app company as a production supervisor. You can visit his YouTube Channel on https://ongjason.com/youtube

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