I've Been Wearing These Every Night for Two Weeks.
A couple of weeks ago I started a little experiment with the light exposure my eyes received before going to bed. I can't remember exactly what the trigger was but I recall an article loosely about the effect of blue light before going to sleep and the impact that had on the quality of sleep and sleep hygiene in general.
The theory is that the blue light emitted by artificial lighting before bed, such as from the screens of electronic devices including TVs, computers, and phones, stimulates the brain like early-morning light, triggering alertness and altering fundamental circadian rhythms. Over the last few years I have become hypervigilant about pursuing healthy sleep hygiene habits and quality uninterrupted sleep, because bad sleep results in a build-up of molecular waste products in the brain, poor / handicapped cognition, and a general brain phenotype that might best be described as prematurely aged (see: http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3956
I decided to invest in two pairs of glasses designed to block blue wavelengths of light:
1. Generic Uvex safety eyewear (pictured) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000USRG90/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
2. BluBlocker sunglasses http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DE0MVD2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The BluBlockers are obviously more stylish but they let in external light from the sides / periphery and so the generic - and much cheaper - glasses, which wrap around the head are better and provide better light blocking properties.
My experience has been very positive. In general I've been donning the glasses about an hour or two before bed and only take them off after the lights have been turned off. I'd say that 99% of the time at this time of day I am consuming information or media through a bright screen of one type or another, most often my home computer. Yes, image quality as regards colour saturation and richness suffers.
But I cannot remember falling asleep so quickly, nor sleeping so solidly - not that I'd classify my sleep beforehand as bad at all, just room for improvement. I feel fresher and more active in the morning and more alert during the day. A proper experiment will demand that I stop using the glasses for two weeks in order to compare the effects. The only drawback I've noticed, aside from the obvious loss of visual richness while wearing the glasses, is that my performance while trying to play first-person-shooters like Titanfall suffers considerably, which is interesting in and of itself.
Finally, most importantly, and the reason for this post is that by coincidence I came across this article today http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2015/03/lighting-adjustments-necessary-for-better-health-researchers-say/
about the latest experiments and research that suggests adjustments to modern lighting are necessary for better sleep and health by restoring our bodies' natural circadian rhythms - essentially preventing blue light from suppressing our natural production of melatonin.
Another option I wouldn't mind exploring in future is house-wide Philips Hue lighting automatically set up to not emit blue light after a certain time of night. And emitting extra blue light in the mornings of course.
This is just my experience and if you suffer from poor sleep and, like me, are immersed in a screen of some sort most nights before bed, you might want to conduct this little experiment yourself. The glasses are only $10 after all. #sleep #light #circadianrhythm