We stare at screens a lot. Even if you don’t spend your work day in front of one, you often spend hours looking at your phone, TV, computer or tablet daily.
- These devices emit blue light (which we also get from the sun), and there are theories that too much blue light can damage your eyes, disrupt your circadian rhythm and cause sleep disruptions.
Blue light glasses that filter it out may be a solution—but do they work, and are they worth the price?
What is it? Blue Light glasses have coated lenses that block out blue light, turning it into a more relaxing yellowish tone.
- They have been marketed as an aid to combat digital eye strain (because LED blue light is more powerful than the natural version) and help restore regular sleep patterns.
- If you plan on wearing them all day, you want to make sure they are comfortable and fit your face correctly, so you should try on a pair before you buy them—there’s nothing worse than ill-fitting glasses.
What you’ll save: Potentially your eyes, although the science is debatable. Some researchers believe that digital eye strain isn’t caused by blue light exposure but because of how long we spend looking at screens and the fact that we blink less while we do.
- When it comes to sleep, there is evidence that blue light exposure suppresses melatonin production and makes it difficult to fall asleep. However, one study found that a person on an iPad only took ten minutes longer to catch some z’s than someone who read a paper book.
So, is it worth it? Probably not (especially not this $1,914 pair)—sleep specialist Dr. Cathy Goldstein says blue light is the “gluten of the sleep world” as its harmful effects have been blamed for many unrelated health issues.
- Doctors recommend simply not looking at screens right before bed. If you must, lower the brightness and try dark mode to help you drift off faster.