Block blue light at night and you’ll not only sleep better, you will enhance your circadian rhythm, boost daytime alertness, productivity and your overall wellbeing.
In the long run you will even help prevent illness and death. Yep, I’m not overstressing here, it’s that serious.
It’s a science-backed fact that blue light interferes with our biological clock. Yet it’s an often overlooked remedy to not feeling optimal.
Especially in our day and age of computer screens, iPads, and cellphones being virtually glued to our hands we are over-exposed to this type of stimulating light (blue light tricks your body into thinking it is daytime and makes you alert and active)
We take vitamin and mineral supplements, we drink green smoothies, and hit up the gym like we’re preparing for the Olympics but this one major health hazard is commonly neglected.
Managing our exposure to light, both in the morning by using an artificial dawn wake-up light, as well as during the hours before we go to sleep has tremendous effect on our welfare.
Here are 4 blue light blocking bedtime devices that will make you a healthier, happier person.
1. Blue light blocking eyewear
Although some people like to go to sleep with the TV on, and others prefer to take their iPad with them to bed, the light rays inhibit your body’s production of melatonin, which occurs naturally when it’s time for bed.
Orange-tinted glasses worn when watching TV or using your computer can help block these sleep-robbing rays and let you snooze away when you cozy up under the covers.
These glasses are must-haves for professional computer workers, gamers, and tablet and smartphone junkies.
Don’t be fooled though..
Even if you find yourself drifting off to dreamland whenever you put your head on your pillow, your sleep quality may still be spoiled by preliminary blue light exposure. This is why people often wake up tired, even though they slept well (so they thought).
Blue-blocker glasses can be especially helpful for those in their younger years. Teenagers are particularly susceptible to insomnia from blue light and tend to spend the most time with electronics.
Studies have shown that people who wore blue-blocker glasses when browsing the web slept better at night than their peers.
Which glasses to get?
There’s a variety of amber-tinted blue light blocking goggles available. From simple safety glasses, to clip-on sunglasses to prescription glasses as well as contacts and intra-ocular lenses.
The more expensive models such as those made by VC Eyewear and Gunnar Optiks have a special anti-reflective coating that bounces off glare. Surveys show that this feature is preferred by a majority of test persons for the purpose of reducing eye strain (computer vision syndrome).
In addition to prevent you’re wrecking your sleep these help prevent eye damage from electronic screens too.
Research shows that because we tend to use our screens close to our eyes, because of brightness and glare, we may cause long-term damage to our vision.
Several brands have developed coatings that can fit devices like laptops, tablets and mobile devices.
OcuShield, for example, is a stick-on film that fits most iOS devices while still allowing 95% of the screen’s brightness to show through. They also claim that their product reduces eye strain for better vision later on. Tech Armor’s Retina Shield is another popular option.
ILLumiShield has several blue light screen protectors for Apple devices and more. Often, consumers are a little unwilling to wear special blue-blocking glasses and find blocking light from the source is much easier.
While this could mean that you will need to buy multiple screen covers for the various devices you own, it may be a better solution if you don’t want to ‘geekify’ your appearance with orange tinted glasses.
This simple solution protects both your screen as well as your eyesight as blue light is potentially damaging to your eyes.
Some of these also offer privacy protection, basically allowing only you to see what’s on your screen. Great for in public transportation or out in the park.
3. Blue light blocking software
It is meant to aid a better night’s sleep and less strain on your eyes. Must be noted though that f.lux and related apps do not block all blue light.
They mimic changing sunlight intensity, making your screen less bright when it becomes evening rendering a gradual transition to softer, warmer light. Therefore these are nice additions to a blue light blocking regimen but not full-blown remedies such as the other 3 products listed here.
F.lux is just one of the many programs you can install on your device that will adjust your computer’s brightness and color settings according to the time of day. Various software is available for for Kindle, Windows pc, Mac, Android and iPhone.
Other programs includeRedshift, Twilight and G.lux for Chrome (an unofficial variation of F.lux with the same capabilities).
IBrightness Tray not only has the same functions as these programs, but it also has the ability to turn on your screensaver by clicking a button or, alternatively, it will turn your screen off completely.
4. Amber-tinted blue light blocking bulbs
Your home’s light bulbs also put out blue light that can inhibit melatonin production.
It’s especially the, now omnipresent, energy-saving LED bulbs that wreck your sleep by emitting the dreadful blue light. They emit more blue light than traditional lighting.
One solution to avoid blue-spectrum melatonin suppression would be to keep the lights turned off in your home, but that would be both impractical and dangerous, especially when it’s nighttime. Even if you’d opt for candle light which involves a potential fire hazard as well as the harmful fumes most candles emit.
Blue-blocking orange light bulbs are an excellent way to put on some mood lighting that also helps you sleep. They are modern-day night lights for evening use.
When used together with blue-blocking glasses, your eyes will have twice the protection, but depending on your situation, these bulb alone should help tremendously.
A bestseller is this pleasant warm light generating bulb by Feit Electric. This type of bulb has 8000 hours of life and uses less than ¼ the energy that normal fluorescent bulbs do, saving both your eyes and your electric bill.
Keep in mind, it’s not also the light’s color but also flicker, glare and brightness. The golden rule, dimmer is better, moderation is key.
But for nocturnal coders, video game addicts, night shift workers, and others exposed to this harmful light, glasses, filters, apps, and bulbs are essential parts of a modern lifestyle.
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