There is much more when it comes to visible light than meets the eye, believe it or not. Visible light is much more complicated than you might think.
Turning on your computer or phone, stepping outdoors into the sunlight, turning on and off your tablet – all of these things result in your eyes being exposed to a range of visible and even invisible light rays. Furthermore, each light comes with a range of different effects.
Blue Light: Intro
People understand that sunlight contains visible light rays and invisible ultraviolet rays that can make their skin brownish or even burn them. However, what many don’t know is that the visible light emitted by the sun comprises a range of various-colored light rays. Those light rays usually contain different amounts of energy.
‘Blue light’ is a type of visible light which comes with a significant amount of energy. In general, blue light is a type of visible light that is emitted from the devices you use every day, including a computer, tablet or even your smartphone. Blue light is a short wavelength of light that creates a high amount of energy.
Therefore, our bodies tend to associate blue light with daytime. In addition, it pushes your internal clock and later, exposure to blue light (like looking at your phone) make sit harder for people to fall asleep.
Benefits Of Blue Light
In general, the blue light is crucial for good health. Blue light emits a bright white light that contains a powerful amount of HEV blue light rays.
In short, blue light is important when it comes to regulating circadian rhythm, the body’s natural sleep, and awake cycles. Also, the blue light can boost alertness.
At the same time, it can help with your memory and cognitive function. Moreover, it helps when it comes to balancing moods. Last but not least, blue light helps the body’s natural wakefulness and sleep cycle.
Blue Light Has A Dark Side
With so much exposure of blue light around you it’s expected that there are some downsides when it comes to blue light. Therefore, the most common negatives of blue light can be seen in digital eyestrain syndrome (blurry vision, difficulty focusing, dry and irritated eyes, headaches, neck and back pain).
It can also be seen in disruptions to the circadian rhythm. Moreover, blue light can lead to the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. There are also some evidence that exposure to blue light can lead to depression and permanent eye damage.
Blue light can contribute to age-related macular degeneration which can eventually lead to vision loss.
Blue Light And Sleep
The main reason why blue light is so problematic is that it comes with a short wavelength that directly affects levels of melatonin. Blue light does it more intense than any other wavelength does. It is believed that blue light can impact the level of melatonin more than any other light, and the overall body is much more sensitive to this type of light.
Furthermore, LED lights and light from fluorescent bulbs can produce an identical effect. The pineal gland in the brain begins to release melatonin a couple of hours before bedtime. Therefore, melatonin reaches its peak in the middle of the night. So, if you love reading before you go to sleep on a blue light-emitting device it will take you much more time to fall asleep.
Even more, the chances are that you will have less REM sleep when a sleep actually occurs. Moreover, the following day you will feel sleepier – even after you had an eight hours sleep.
So, is there any way that you could block this light and make it work in your favor? There are many popular blocking methods actually while using blue light blocking glasses is the most common one.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
The biggest issue with screen time is well-spread digital eye strain these days. This condition is caused by focusing your eyes for extended periods of time without blinking, while at the same time you are exposed to blue light.
Luckily for us modern beings, digital eye strain symptoms are something that you can work with, as they are reversible and temporary if you deal with them. Moreover, you don’t need special glasses for it, its enough to be persistent and to follow 20-20-20 rule:
keep your screen at least 20 feet away, and on every 20 minutes make a 20 seconds brake by simply watching in a distant object.
Moreover, blue light blocking glasses won’t help you from permanent eye-damage. Simple, use of these glasses when it comes to saving your eyesight is not scientifically supported. But, there is one thing that blue-light glasses can help you with – help you sleep better. You can benefit from these glasses even more if you can’t give up your screen before bed.
Blue light blocking glasses work really simply: they block blue-light waves. In addition, there are some studies that suggest that these glasses enormously help improve sleep overall when worn hours before bedtime. They can be bought with or without a prescription.
How Blue Light Blocking Glasses Work?
Standard computer eye-wear lenses are designed to filer Blue Light and eliminate flash, which is two of the main worrying pillars behind Digital Eye Strain. Moreover, all lenses are known for using an anti-reflective coating, also known as AR coating in order to reduce flash. Commonly, lenses are tinted yellow to filter Blue Light.
There are two points to this condition. First one is that they are unappealing, and the second one is that they distort your color perception, as everything you see is a shade of yellow. However, there is a new way to filter Blue Light – via coating. These coats look clear until in front of a screen when they turn a blue hue as the coating is deflecting the Blue Light. The downside of this approach is that the coating is less effective.
They don’t target the highest energy wavelengths of Blue Light. However, they can also chip, lowering the purpose of Blue Light filtering computer eye-wear. One great thing about these glasses is that you can wear them for an unlimited period of time.
If nothing else, you can be sure that you won’t impair your eye-sight. However, there are some other ways how you can disconnect before your sleep and save your eyesight and improve the quality of your sleep.
Other Blocking Methods
Wearing Blue Light Blocking Glasses requires everyday commitment and determination. Simply said, you have to wear them every day, especially at night, before you go to sleep. But, if you want to try other methods and avoid wearing glasses or support your daily effort for improving your sleep, you can try one of the following tips:
- Use the app: This step actually requires for you to install a program on your computer that will automatically adjust the color of your screen based on your timezone. You can test f.lux or similar programs. If you spend more time on your smartphone you can search for similar apps that are available for your smartphone.
- Routine: Have a bed-time routine thats easy to follow. You can start by turning all the lights in your home 1-2 hours before you go to bed. During that time you should avoid nightcap, and you can read paper book and have a good herbal tea that will boost your sleep.
- Set the mood: Make sure that you are not exposed to blue light before your sleep, or at least as possible. One of the ways to do so is getting a red or orange reading lamp, without blue light. You can use candlelight, as well. In addition, it is important to keep your bedroom fully dark or to use a sleep mask if you have a way to many lights in your bedroom.
Don’t forget that blue light is good in the first place and that you need to be exposed to sunlight in order to keep your body and metabolism happy and strong.
Being overexposed to blue light has a different effect. Therefore, expose yourself to blue light during the day and try to go outside to get sunlight exposure.
In addition, if you feel that you are missing on sunlight, you can get a blue light therapy device.
This lamp will simulate the sun and you will make you feel like you are sun-kissed. One of the best blue light lamps are great body therapy as well.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses – Key Takeaways
We are all exposed to an enormous amount of blue light every day. Its integral part of every electronic device, including tablets, smartphones, and computers. Being exposed to a huge amount of bright light is not good for your overall health. Your body works by absorbing the light. By doing so, the body knows when its time for you to wake up and moreover, when is the time for you to go to sleep.
But, when you are exposed to too much light, your body gets confused and doesn’t know when you should rest. Therefore, all together leads to disrupted and poor sleep.
If this is the case and you are feeling that you sleep goes back maybe you should think about reducing blue light during the evenings, or by using during the day blue light blocking glasses. Although the chances that these glasses will help you with eye-sight are extremely low. But it will help you with your sleep, on the other hand.
This will be great if your job is connected with heavy use of computer or smartphone. This way your body will be more able to track your day timeline and help you go to sleep in time, and overall improve your sleep quality.
Other ways to block blue light is to change your sleeping routine, use dimming lights or install the app to protect you during your working hours or free-internet surfing, next to wearing blue light blocking glasses.