Wear Orange Glasses to Get Better Shut-Eye

Tinted eyewear, filters block blue light emitting from electronic devices: study
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2015 2:18 PM CDT
Wear Orange Glasses to Get Better Shut-Eye
This handout photo, taken in 2009, provided by Rensselaer's Lighting Research Center, shows a subject wearing orange glasses to block blue light.   (AP Photo/Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center)

You may be tempted to stay up to check out all the new late-night TV hosts, but make sure you've got your orange glasses on first. Various studies and expert opinion suggest that special filters, light bulbs, and the aforementioned orange-tinted eyewear can help block melatonin-disrupting blue light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computer screens, the New York Times reports. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone tied to sleep onset, and blue light has been shown in some studies to suppress its production. The most recent research comes out of a Swiss study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, in which 13 teen boys were outfitted in these glasses, known as blue blockers, during the evening while they used devices with LED screens. The result, per the Times: The boys experienced "significantly more" sleepiness with the orange-tinted glasses than when they were sporting clear ones.

A 2009 study of 20 adults came to similar conclusions, showing that subjects who wore amber-tinted eyeglasses enjoyed better sleep than those in yellow-tinted glasses (blocking UV light only). Orange shades aren't the only solution being bandied about: Bulbs that emit less blue light, filters to cover devices, and apps that change devices' blue-light emissions are also available, per the Times. Or, one could simply cut down on the gadgets once night comes. While experts tell the paper that being exposed to blue light is preferable during the day, it makes sense in the evening to block whatever blue light you can, either via smaller LED screens, dimmer light, or a cutdown on usage. "If you can look at the iPhone for 10 minutes rather than three hours, that makes a lot of difference," a neuroendocrinology professor tells the Times. (Thank these three for inventing blue light.)

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