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What Are Blue Light Blocking Glasses?

Light is not only the primary energy source for all living organisms on planet Earth, but it also represents the number one, time cue for the human circadian clock. With the digital revolution, artificial blue light invaded our homes and bedrooms, and we can not imagine our life without smartphones and TV.  

However, the late-night use of modern technologies, including Smartphones; plasma TV screens; computers; or tablets, have a detrimental effect on sleep and ultimately on general wellbeing. 

Effect Of Blue Light On Circadian Rhythm

The artificial blue light from screens and LED light sources can interfere with circadian rhythms and suppresses the release of the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin. Melatonin participates in the initiation of sleep and a deficiency can cause difficulties falling and staying asleep, and also reduces sleep quality. 

Blue Light Glasses Benefits

In the late afternoon and evening, we should avoid blue light as much as possible and get closer to the light spectrum of dusk and dim light conditions, which enhances melatonin secretion and promotes drowsiness.

Do Blue Light Blocking Glasses Work?

Wearing blue, light-blocking glasses and installing screen protecting blue light filter on all electronic devices helps to create artificial dim light conditions essential for melatonin synthesis. 

 

Consider using blue, light-blocking glasses after 6 pm and especially in the evening when watching television. Rather than opting for a cheap product, use trusted sources. 

How Can You Test Your Blue Light Filter?

I have bought several online, but almost all of them were not effective enough. If you are purchasing the glasses in a store, you can run a quick test to see how effective they are. Google blue, light-blocking test images and look at the image with and without the blue, light-blocking glasses. 

Basically, you need to compare two different colour spectra on the blue-light test image. If you can see the blue part between 400 and 480nm, the lenses are not good enough, and I would not recommend these glasses. Usually, better quality blue blockers are red-tinted. 

Blue Light Filter Glasses

The good news is that they don’t have to be ugly; there are various frames and designs on the market to satisfy everyone’s taste. Alternatively, customise the glasses which makes it more likely that you will wear them in the long term. There are also blue, light-blocking glasses, which partially filter blue light. These glasses are not tinted and are recommended for people who are working all day long in front of computer screens.

Inadequate Lighting In The Workplace

Illumination at work is often outside of our control and wearing customised glasses, which filter the harmful parts of the blue-light spectrum are often the only choice to improve our exposure to harmful light frequencies.

More informed individuals try to offset the circadian mismatch induced by artificial light in the evening with blue-light blocking glasses and screen protection applications to simulate sunset and gain better sleep. However, the majority of the population don’t realise the consequences of their behavioural patterns.

In my opinion, public health authorities and the entire medical institutions should educate the community about light pollution to encourage a healthier way of life.

Stay Healthy!

What is Circadian Lighting And Why It’s Important To Understand Light?

Light is like a double-edged sword. It can improve energy levels, mood, performance,  sleep and body regeneration by enhancing robust circadian rhythms. In contrast, light exposure at the wrong time can delay sleep onset by inhibiting the secretion of the regenerative hormone melatonin at night. 

Circadian Rhythm Sensitivity To Light

For millions of years, humans evolved under natural light, and all physiological processes have been adapted to different light frequencies. Our eyes are supposed to see the regenerative morning light at around 40 LUX (LUX is a metric for light intensity) and bright natural light during the day at 100 000 – 130 000 LUX. Exposure to bright natural light has a profound effect on energy metabolism and cognitive brain function. Hormones and neurotransmitter exhibit a light-dependent pulsatile release according to the organisms circadian rhythm. 

 

The jetlag we suffer after a transatlantic flight is nothing else but a circadian mismatch in which hormones and neurochemicals are still released according to departure time zone and yet not adapted to destination time. The consequences are symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, cravings at an abnormal time of the day, headaches and many more.

 

The exposure to circadian time cues efficiently alleviates these symptoms and light is one of them If you want to explore more information about the importance of circadian rhythms and get deeper insights into the bondage between human and nature and improve your sleep pattern, I would recommend reading my book Sleep Timer

 

Circadian rhythms are the cornerstone of a healthy body and mind and if you want to optimize your lifestyle or the environment start from there.

 

 

Circadian Lighting For Home

Unfortunately, in today’s reality, it is almost impossible to spend much time in daylight outside, which makes it necessary to improve the artificial light conditions of our indoor environments. Adapting the indoor illumination to our biological needs can have a profound impact on our daily wellbeing and sleep at night. Daylight exposure is critical for robust circadian rhythms which indirectly impacts sleep onset at night. 

A good baseline to get the beneficial effects of daylight is around  10 000 LUX. As you may notice from the list below, indoor illumination has much lower brightness than natural sunlight even on a cloudy day.

Examples of Light Intensity Levels

  • Bright sunlight; 120 000 LUX
  • Bright sunlight behind a window; 70 000 LUX
  • A partly sunny, partly cloudy day; 10 000 – 20 500 LUX
  • Typical overcast day; 1000 – 1500 LUX
  • Office lighting with workplace next to the window; 1000 LUX 
  • Supermarket lighting; 750 LUX
  • Normal office light; 500 LUX
  • Childcare centre; 500 LUX
  • Gymnasium; 200 – 500; LUX
  • Sunset and sunrise; 40 – 400 LUX
  • Street Lights; 320 LUX
  • School classroom, university illumination; 250 LUX
  • Home lighting; 150 – 200 LUX depending on the light source
  • Working areas which do not imply visual tasks; 150 LUX
  • Candle Light; 50 LUX
  • Twilight; 10 LUX
  • Starlight; less than 1 LUX
  • Full moon at clear night; 0.27 LUX

Circadian Rhythm Light Bulbs

If exposure to natural light is not possible, particularly during the winter months, consider using daylight simulators in the morning. The daylight simulators emit bright light at 10 000 LUX. Install the dawn simulator, (so-called circadian lighting) in rooms where you spend some time in the morning, such as the bathroom or kitchen.

This way, the light exposure happens by default. Ten minutes in bright light are enough to enhance the amplitude of circadian rhythms. If you have insomnia issues, try to get as much natural light as possible during the day.

On the other hand, a light intensity of only 10 LUX at night can interrupt sleep. Therefore you shall avoid blue light exposure in the evening or use the blue light blocking glasses. 

 

Here are my top 4 recommended products that can significantly improve the light in your home or workspace environment during the day.

Tools to improve your daylight environment:

  • Light Therapy Lamp, Sunrise and Sunset Settings, 12000 Lux Bright Light Therapy, UV Free Full Spectrum Sunlight Lamp with Alarm,1-40 Level Adjustabl Brightness, 5 Time Options for Home/Office Use

  • Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp | As Seen On Shark Tank | 10,000 LUX Ultra Bright LED | Full Spectrum UV Free | Adjustable Light Panel | Turn On Your Day

  • Light Therapy Lamp, Miroco LED Bright White Therapy Light - UV Free 10000 Lux Brightness, Timer Function, Touch Control, Standing Bracket, for Home/Office Use

  • REPTI ZOO Reptile Full Spectrum UVA + UVB Sun Lamp Self-Ballasted Vapor Basking Spot Lamp/Bulb/Light for Reptile and Amphibian Use

 

Tools to improve your evening light environment:

Install free software on all screens: www.justgetflux.com  and consider buying effective blue light blocking glasses for sleep.

If you want much more in-depth info on how to choose effective blue light blocking glasses, then you should take a moment and read this article.