Do Blue-Light Glasses Really Work?

By Karla Walsh

By Karla Walsh

Maybe you’re a dietitian looking at the latest research for hours on end, or maybe you work another job that requires you to respond to emails or look at reports for long periods of time. Either way, blue light—the kind emitted from your laptop and phone—is the reality of the modern-day workplace. It’s probs the reality of your social life, too…Instagram, anyone?

But if you’ve heard some bad things about blue light, don’t freak. Blue light is known to boost your attention span and reaction time, keeping you alert, much like how you feel more awake when the sun comes out to play on a nice day. Thing is, it’s the same kind of light that keeps you up at night, a problem for those who need to (or—ahem—choose to) stay on their electronic devices later in the day.

RELATED: 3 Sleep Myths Researchers Say You Need to Stop Believing

Blue light is detected by cells within the retina that control your sleep and wake cycles, and “overstimulation can cause sleep disturbance,” says Stephen Pflugfelder, M.D., professor of ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. In fact, blue light also suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin for about twice as long as dimmer light, according to a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Womp womp.

That’s where blue-light glasses come in…

“Blue-light glasses contain a filter to decrease exposure to or block blue light and often have a slight yellow tint,” Dr. Pflugfelder says. “I recommend them to patients who spend a lot of time viewing a digital display, particularly if they’re having difficulty sleeping.” 

Anthony Youn, M.D., author of Playing God wears them daily and swears that they reduce eye strain and help him sleep better. “Excess blue light can strain your eyes, resulting in headaches. It can also be detrimental to good, restful sleep.”

RELATED: A Simple Guide to the Stages of Sleep (and How to Manage Them)

Since we’re all about sleeping deep for a more energized day here at Nutritious Life (yes, even on the nights you work late—it happens to the best of us), we’re fans of these new specs. Check out these NL-approved options, all of which can be at your door (and on your nose) in two days.

About Karla Walsh
Health, Food, Wine and Relationship Writer + Cooking and Wine Event Host

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