The Top 7 Interesting Facts About Blue Light Biohacking Glasses

Unlike 20 years ago (or even 10), Americans today are bombarded by blue light from dozens of different devices. (Smartphones and tablets and laptops, oh my!) The reason why is that most of us are glued to one device or another the majority of our waking hours, whether we’re working, relaxing, or just ‘surfing’ the internet. The vast majority of these devices use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as their light source, which emits a blue light we all bathe in for hours a day.

Of course, the problem is that too much of anything can be unhealthy, and that includes blue light. Blue light in high amounts negatively affects the way we sleep, which then goes on to affect other things negatively as well. One of the most important is our circadian rhythm, which helps us to wake up and fall asleep on a regular, daily schedule. (See our recent blog about intermittent fasting and circadian rhythm here.**)

One recent solution that biohackers have created to counter this blue light conundrum is blue light blocking glasses, which is the subject of today’s article. We’ll take a quick look at blue light, what it is and what it does, and how blue light blocking glasses work. So if you spend a lot of hours staring at a screen (and you know you do), read on to discover The Top 7 Interesting Facts about Blue Light Biohacking Glasses.

1- Certain Cells In Our Eyes Help Us Fall Asleep and Wake Up

If you’ve ever wondered how, exactly, your body manages to fall asleep at night and then wake up in the morning, you’re not alone. It’s a mystery that scientists have been looking into for centuries. One of the things they’ve found is that specific cells in the human eye are responsible for this seemingly magical ability.

These cells send signals to the brain, letting it know what’s going on as far as the time of day, whether the sun is shining, etc. They’re tied into our circadian rhythm, the ‘internal clock’ we all have. The problem is that if your eyes are exposed to an overabundance of blue light, it can create havoc for this process and throw your circadian rhythm completely out of sync.

2- Blue Light Interferes With Melatonin Production

These days, most people have heard of melatonin, a natural sleep remedy found at many health food stores. What fewer people realize, though, is that the human body makes its own melatonin, a hormone that signals the body when it’s time to go to sleep. 

Melatonin levels naturally rise one to two hours before bedtime and then decrease as the morning approaches so that we wake up. Too much blue light, though, especially before bedtime, can interfere with this natural process. This, in turn, can disturb your natural sleep-wake cycle, affect your circadian rhythm, and make it much more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. (And turn some of us into a blithering boob at the breakfast table.)

3- Studies Prove That Blue Light Causes Sleep Problems

As we mentioned, scientists have studied how and why people sleep (or don’t sleep) for ages. Study after study has found that blue light disturbs natural processes that the body uses to fall asleep, sleep deeply, and, when ready, wake up. For example:

  • This study shows that using a tablet to read at night instead of a regular book increases the time it takes to fall asleep by upwards of 20%. The same study also showed that blue light decreases the amount of important REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and, in the morning, can reduce how alert you are after waking up. 
  • Research showed that high amounts of blue light exposure increase the production of cortisol. A natural stress hormone, when cortisol levels increase, your heart rate increases with it. (It’s part of the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism that humans have.) 

Another study found that high exposure to blue light shortens the sleep cycle and can leave you feeling groggy and having ’brain fog;’ in the morning.

4- Blue Light Glasses Filter Out Blue Light

As you might imagine, blue light blocking sunglasses block (or, more technically, filter out) blue light emitted from electronic devices. It’s a super simple biohack, to be sure, and one that practically anyone can use to reduce the adverse effects blue light has on melatonin production, circadian rhythm, and sleep cycles. 

5- 90% of Americans Use Blue Light Emitting Devices Every Day

A full 9 out of 10 Americans use a device every day that emits blue light, which has led to a considerable increase in sleep-related problems over the last couple of decades. Ironically, the best way to stop blue light-related issues is to stop looking at blue light-emitting devices one to two hours before bedtime. Since that’s almost impossible for the vast majority of us, blue light blocking glasses are an alternative solution.

6- Research Shows that Blue Light Blocking Glasses Do Seem To Work

Blue light blocking glasses are a relatively new product created to reduce the problems caused by blue light-emitting devices. As such, there isn’t a lot of research that’s been done to determine their effectiveness, at least not yet. However, there have been a few small-ish studies, and they do seem to show that these specialized biohacking glasses are effective. For example:

  • This study showed that adults who wore blue-light biohacking glasses slept much better and awoke in a better mood.
  • According to this study, wearing blue light blocking glasses before bed was shown to reduce its effect on melatonin production significantly.
  • Another study showed that people who wore blue-light biohacking glasses for three hours before bedtime had improved sleep quality and slept longer also.

7- Many Devices Have Blue Light Blocking Capabilities Already Built-In

While blue light blocking glasses do seem to work, many devices these days already come with technology to block (or at least reduce) the amount of blue light they emit. For example, most smartphones have a ‘night mode’ setting that reduces blue light (and overall brightness). Some apps can reduce it on a PC or laptop, as well as on a tablet. (If you’re not sure your device has this capability, check with the manufacturer.)

Last Words

Blue light, thankfully, isn’t terribly unhealthy but can cause significant sleep problems, which lead to other harmful conditions. Research shows that wearing blue light biohacking glasses is a simple, easy solution to the problem. They reduce the amount of blue light hitting your eyes and thus reduce its melatonin-disrupting effect. People who use them sleep better and longer and get more vitally important REM sleep too.

I short, if you’re glued to a device’s screen for many hours a day (and most of us are), wearing blue light blocking glasses is a recommended biohack that’s been scientifically shown to work.

Did you enjoy today’s article? We hope you did and that it answers all your questions. If you have more or would like to share an anecdote about your experience with biohacking blue light, please do!

Leave a Comment