Do blue light glasses do anything?

From CBD oil to banana-peel tea, we get all kinds of unorthodox methods to help induce sleep come across our desk every week; but one that’s likely been all over your feed for the last few years are blue light glasses.

Blue light glasses are designed to filter out blue light from screens such as your phone, computer, and TV. Lately, blue light has gotten a bad reputation because studies show that it affects our circadian rhythm, which can disrupt sleeping patterns.

Some studies have shown that blue light glasses can help people fall asleep faster and that they can be especially effective for kids since children’s still-developing eyes absorb more blue light than adults.

However, blue light glasses claim to do more than just help people sleep. They can purportedly reduce eye strain and prevent screen-induced headaches, too. That sounds great if you’re someone who feels tired or fatigued after working all day in front of a computer screen. But since blue light glasses can cost you, you might want to know what the research says first.

People tend to blink less frequently when they’re staring at a screen. Blinking helps keep your eyes moist, so when you blink less it can cause an increase in glare, pain, tearing, red eyes and even blurry vision. In other words, your eye strain is caused by your blinking response and nothing to do with the blue light emitted by the screen. Therefore, blue light glasses will not fix this problem. The one issue blue light glasses may help with is your sleep.

Instead of opting for blue light glasses, here are some tips to help prevent eye strain:

  • Take breaks during screen time.
  • Consider using artificial tears to help re-moisten the eyes.
  • Try not to use your devices while near a vent or a ceiling fan.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule where every 20 minutes you move your eyes to an object that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds or longer.
  • Don’t work in a dark room and increase the contrast on your screen.
  • Use a matte screen filter to minimise screen glare.

Overall, the best strategy to ensure that you prevent blue light from affecting your sleep and circadian rhythm is limiting screen time altogether, especially in the hours before bed.

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