Why I Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses (at Night)

Why I wear blue light blocking Orange Glasses at Night

When I first started wearing blue light blocking glasses at night a few years ago (which look like orange sunglasses), they were much less common. Someone once asked me if I wore them because I have some kind of eye disease! Of course the answer was “no”, but since then, they’ve gotten much more popular…

At a restaurant recently, a waiter asked me if my orange glasses were actually blue blocking glasses and said he had some too!

What are Blue Light Blocking Glasses?

Why I Wear Orange Sunglasses at Night and You Should tooIn short, they are glasses designed to block most blue light that a person encounters after it is dark outside. Think of them as reverse sunglasses. You wear them inside instead of outside and to block artificial light, but not the sun.

If you look at the research, it turns out that wearing silly glasses can serve a serious purpose!

The Problem with Blue Light (After Dark)

Artificial light is still a relatively new invention to modern man, and exposure to this type of lighting may be drastically affecting our biology. For most of history, people rose and slept with the sun. Their circadian rhythm was effortlessly controlled by the light of the sun and moon.

Now, we experience light at all times of day and night. Electronics and artificial lighting emit blue light, which only occurs in nature during the brightest part of the day. So when we encounter light that would only occur in nature during the bright afternoon hours at 11:00 PM, our bodies get confused!

From Harvard:

While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light does so more powerfully. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light. It shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).

Reduced Melatonin

Research suggests that blue light after sunset can disrupt circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin production.

Think about it, until the invention of electric light bulbs, people relied on the sun for the majority of their light. After dark, they only used natural sources of light such as candles, campfires, and lanterns (all orange lights). With the dawn of modern electricity, we suddenly had the ability to stay up with lights on for many hours after sunset.

With computers, TVs, tablets, and phones, this use has extended even more, and these new technologies are especially high in blue light. We’re only starting to understand the affects, but we know that artificial light at night impacts cortisol patterns, melatonin, and circadian rhythm.

This is the reason that recent research found that just one week of camping away from artificial light could fix many sleep problems!

I truly believe that the next wave of medicine will involve addressing light, the gut, and sleep more comprehensively. Until then, we have to find ways to address these things ourselves. Blue light and artificial light at night have been linked to:

Disrupted Sleep

Electricity and artificial lighting have drastically changed the world. Of course, they have many benefits, but they also give us the ability to mess with our circadian rhythm and our sleep cycles.

Sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus makes this statement in his book The Power of When:

The most disruptive event in the history of biotime occurred on December 31, 1879 with the invention of the electric light bulb.

Researchers have known for years that shift workers and those who are regularly up late at night are at a higher risk for various cancers. More recent research shows that even recreational exposure to blue light for a few hours at night can also have a negative effect.

Some researchers even promote the theory that the disruption of natural circadian rhythm from (blue) light after dark is a big contributing factor to the rise in obesity and chronic disease. (1) There is even evidence linking this disruption of the sleep cycle to higher rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. (2)

From Harvard Medical School:

Study after study has linked working the night shift and exposure to light at night to several types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It’s not exactly clear why nighttime light exposure seems to be so bad for us. But we do know that exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, and there’s some experimental evidence (it’s very preliminary) that lower melatonin levels might explain the association with cancer. (3)

Shift workers and those up after 11:00 PM seem to be especially at risk for the negative effects of blue light. Yet, research is showing that any of us who are up after dark looking at sources of blue light (TV, computer, etc.) are at risk.

When Blue Light is Beneficial

It is important to note that blue light in itself is actually a very good thing. Exposure to blue light (preferably outdoors) is important during the day to maintain proper circadian rhythm. It is only blue light at night that causes the problems. At night, blue light signals the body that it is still daytime (sunlight has a lot of blue light).

In fact, avoiding blue light during the day has been linked to depression and sleep troubles! It is important to get blue light, but only during the day when it benefits the body. I have a 10,000 lux light box (with blue light spectrum) that I use in the morning and on rainy days to help my cortisol rhythm for this reason.

The Benefits of Blocking Blue Light (at Night)

Turns out, there is a simple way to reduce most of the blue light we see at night: blue light blocking glasses.

This simple change could have big benefits, including:

Eye Protection

Dr. Mercola explains that “the benefits of blue-blocking glasses are immense and varied. In my view the primary benefit is to prevent damage to the DHA essential fat in your retinal pigmented epithelium. This is responsible for converting sunlight into vital DC electric current your body needs.”

Melatonin Production

Researchers at the University of Toronto compared the melatonin levels of two groups:

  1. People exposed to bright indoor light who were wearing blue-light–blocking goggles
  2. People exposed to regular dim light without wearing goggles.

Melatonin levels were about the same in the two groups. This strengthens the hypothesis that blue light is a potent suppressor of melatonin. It also suggests that shift workers and night owls could perhaps protect themselves if they wore eyewear that blocks blue light.

Cortisol Patterns

I notice a big difference in my sleep and my cortisol patters when I regularly wear blue light blocking glasses at night. From testing, I’ve found that my salivary cortisol pattern is drastically improved when I avoid blue light after dark.

Better Sleep

A study of 20 adults who wore either blue-light blocking or ultraviolet-light blocking glasses for 3 hours before sleep found that both sleep quality and mood improved among those in the group who wore blue-light blocking glasses, compared to the ultraviolet-light blocking group.

Help for Shift Workers

Shift workers are at especially high risk for circadian rhythm disruptions, because of their non-traditional schedules. At study from Quebec’s Universite Laval, studied nightshift workers who used blue-light blocking glasses at or near the end of their overnight shifts for 4 weeks. At the end of the study period, their overall sleep amounts increased, as did their sleep efficiency.

Mitochondria Support

There is some evidence that blue light will increase the distance of the proteins in the respiratory electron transport chain in the mitochondria. This makes them much less efficient in producing mitochondria.

How to Find Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Of all the health related changes I’ve made, this is one of the easiest and most effective! I just put on my blue light blocking glasses when the sun goes down and take them off when I go to bed.

Thankfully, there are now some great (and even trendy) blue light blocking glasses. When I first started wearing them, I could only find unattractive, hunting-type glasses (see small photo near the top of post). After trying many glasses, our family now uses these:

Other Ways to Limit & Avoid Blue Light at Night

Sources:

1. Obesity and metabolic syndrome: Association with chronodisruption, sleep deprivation, and melatonin suppression
2. Melatonin and circadian biology in human cardiovascular disease
3. Blue Light Has a Dark Side – Harvard Medical School
4.Exposure to Room Light before Bedtime Suppresses Melatonin Onset and Shortens Melatonin Duration in Humans
5. More studies on blue light and melatonin available here.

Ever tried blue light blocking glasses? Would you wear orange sunglasses at night? Think it’s weird? Share below!

You May Also Enjoy These Posts...

Reader Interactions

It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Be Healthy…

Become a Wellness Mama VIP member for free and get access to my handbooks & quick start guides to help you detox your home, become a master of home remedies, make beauty products from scratch, and conquer mealtime madness!

Yes! Let me in!

Wellness Mama widget banner

Reader Comments

  1. Yes! I don’t have glasses but I do use flux on my computer since I’m usually using it to watch tv at night or blog. I have really noticed a difference and it’s easy on the eyes.

    • Thanks for the tip on Flux, and orange glasses. I’m currently on maternity leave with my two week old at home 🙂 but when I return to work I have a shift job that includes night shifts, and they always take place in front of a computer screen. I will share the study with colleagues and see if we can install Flux on our computers, and am going to look for blue-blocking glasses for when I return!

  2. Thank you Katie, another reason to LOVE your blog!!!!!!!!

  3. Hey for the PC try this program for help with blocking the blues from your monitor..

    f.lux: software to make your life better: https://justgetflux.com/

  4. You might be interested in Flux. It’s software that’s downloaded easily and it essentially takes the blue out of your computer screen after a certain hour (usually around four PM). Highly recommend as it’s much much easier on your eyes at night!

  5. I work 40 hours a week (10hrs a night/4 nights in a row) at a television station. My job is to sit in front of at least 15 monitors (computer screens and hd tvs) and observe what we are airing. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to leave this job, although I have been furiously applying elsewhere. It has really taken a toll on my eyes and I am currently suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome or Eye Fatigue. I’ve upped my B vitamins (1500 mg/day) and Vitamin C (15000 mg/day). I just purchased the Uvex glasses you suggested on your post. Do you have any other advice on how to manage dealing with this kind of lifestyle? I have two children, 2 and 4. I’m always tired and my head is always in a fog which leaves me cranky and then guilty for being a bad mom. It’s so hard for me to switch back and forth from sleeping at night for half the week and during the day for the other half.

    Any advice is helpful! Thank you!

    • Dear Laura: As somebody who worked nites when I lived with wee ones, plus I later attended a workshop with expert geeks on EMF fields: one of the problems for people surrounded by monitors is that the EMF field is “high Herz” exposure. There were two guys at the workshop who worked in network monitoring, multiple big monitors. They had devices called Tesla watches which “ground” the EMF vibrations to 7.83 Hz or so, the vibration of the Earth (it’s now a little higher plus you might want to check Dr. Mercola’s site for all the sknny on EMFs, it’s a huge pollution problem). Last time I checked, these were available for $100 range. For added woo woo, a good friend of mine who is credible psychic said that all the people who come to her who work in high tech environments are so wired she has to bring ’em down from the ceiling. THX for homeopathic tip, hope this is worth looking into. Best Clare
      P.S. EMF= electromagnetic fields. Analogy in the workshop was that gramma walked into a kitchen with a toaster, maybe a Waring blender, not giving off EMFs. Versus we have digital and “wireless stuff” all over the place . An old BW TV upped the surrounding to about 15-30 Hz, a simple color TV goes up to over 100 with much wider field, a big flat screen is off the chart.. You might be able to get a sound engineer or volunteer to measure the EMF field you work in, or find somebody who knows about Tesla wrist device for “grounding”.
      Yay orange glasses–I scored a reading pair for computering and ditto Himalaya lamps (turndownable at bedside, full blast in bathroom. ) Mercola has checklists for what to absolutely turn off whilst sleeping, especially EMF fields close to your personal head. It also helps to put yep new agey crystals or for instance rose bowls with (cheap) crystal chips aside computer, under your bed, etc.. One of the newby energy experts reminds us that Himalaya or sea salt is crystals, too. He advises filling porous bag or sock with bigger salt crystals and putting it under your medulla curve when sleeping. Really does clear some of the we’re all “wired” problem. Apologies encyclopedic..big subject.

      • First of all thank you for a great blog. I am so excited to find a solution to the computer glare and the blue light/ melatonin issue. Have just ordered orange light bulbs and glasses and installed flux. It’s great on my screen- so much calmer at night.
        Now about electromagnetic fields. I have had quite a lot of experience re this topic and the research of damage done to biological organisms (such as us) by wireless radio frequencies from smart meters and all the other crazy gadgets we actually choose to have in our lives. Regarding what to have in the bedroom, my advice to clients for the past 20 years has been: no TV, no cellphone or charger; keep powerboards and transformers away from the bed. Do NOT use crystals any more hoping they will reduce EMR, unless you clean them regularly in the proper ways. They amplify, remember? So after a while of collecting up your EMR they will blast you with it. I have experienced this myself- I used to use amethyst in front of the computer until I realized what was happening. With smart meters now emitting RFR 24 hours per day, crystals would “fill up” too fast and be doing you more harm than good. Having a salt bath can help a little.
        Wireless frequencies ( microwave) do us much more harm than wired. So ensure all your equipment is wired- ideally computer, phone ( I gather this might not be so easy soon). The base of a cordless phone acts like a mini mobile phone tower all the time – highly undesirable if you want good health.
        If you have a laptop, plug in a separate keyboard so you will not be working directly on the laptop. Do not let your children put them on their laps.
        Damage done to the body by wireless frequencies such as the smart meter or wireless router can be insidious and long term. There are things you can use to protect yourself and the family from these things. With the smart meter there are 2 separate issues: firstly our circuitry was never designed for the speed of these frequencies, so harmful “dirty electricity” is created on the whole electrical circuitry of our homes. I only found this blog tonight so I have no idea if I am allowed to say the names of things that worked for me and my clients, but I shall and I’m sure you can edit if necessary! There is a good book on dirty electricity by Donna Fisher. There are 3 ways to help that: either install Stetzer filters in some powerpoints ( Google and all the info is there about them); or use the Earthcalm home protection unit ( I use both); or live in a forest. The next smart meter issue is direct radio frequency radiation. Unlike magnetic fields which we thought were bad before, this actually enters the body and affects it in all sorts of ways we will not go into here. The research is endless and dates back many decades. Do not believe what the govt and industry research tell you, for obvious reasons. There are ways you can shield yourself from this radiation. Ideally don’t sleep in a room which has the meter on the outside wall of it. But if you have to, and have no money, use multiple layers of the thickest aluminium foil you can get on your side of the wall. You can hang a picture on top! This foil will help deflect some of the radiation from you. If you have money ( all the gadgets are sadly pretty dear) you can buy material that absorbs and material that reflects. If you google EMF shielding, you will find lots of sites. Lessemf also sells clothing items for shielding the body. A very good way to aid the body in healing at night, is a shielding canopy around the bed- but costly.
        Regarding cellphones, if you check the small print of the manufacturers, somewhere they all say do not hold the phone against your body. Never allow young children to talk on a cellphone except with a speaker and for a short time. Never allow anyone to keep the cellphone in their bra or under their pillow. unless they really want breast or brain cancer. If men want to have children they are advised not to keep a cellphone anywhere near the future generation. RFR has a very deleterious effect upon both sperm and eggs.
        I could go on – it is a subject I am passionate about, as not only has my health been impacted, but I have known many others in a similar boat. We need to know what we are dealing with and what the options are, even if we would rather not know. For the sake of convenience and entertainment we are doing our bodies much disservice. At least let’s choose wisely where we do have choice.

  6. Hey Katie! What a great topic. I tend to use my evenings (and admittedly, sometimes I go well into the night) to catch up on email and social media. A couple of years ago I discovered a program called f.lux which adjusts the colours on your computer monitor based on the time of day (or based on however you set it). I have it set to the sun, so when the sun goes down, my computer screen adjusts by displaying orange light instead of blue. I definitely suggest it for anybody who uses their computer at night! https://justgetflux.com/

  7. My only problem with this is looking like a jerk. But I’d much rather look like a dbag than get cancer,

  8. Thanks Katie! I ordered 2 pair. My boys like to read at night now on their Kindles so this should help them also.

  9. Thank you, Katie! I am buying a pair right now. Keep up the great work!!

  10. So any advice for us night shifters? I work 7pm-7am and have not found any good information on reducing health risks associated with this lifestyle. Unfortunately, I don’t think the orange sunglasses are enough! Just curious if you have come across any thing. Thanks!

    • They actually will make a difference though. There are some studies that show it really does benefit sleep quality when night shift workers wear orange glasses.

      • Hi, wonderful wellness mama! I’m a 45 year young’ wife and home school mom of three with a personal fitness and nutrition consulting business. Your websight is awesome! I love my low blue light glasses; my husband calls me Bono when he sees me with them on! I must say I don’t always wear them, but try to when reading in my BR. I also have the low blue light night lights for us and our children. We also cover any other bright lights in our rooms (from air purifiers, clocks, etc…) so the melatonin keeps a flowin’ during the night!
        Keep on keepin’ on, and God richly bless you as you bless others!

      • Yes the blue light blocking glasses will help. Read the e-book by Richard Hansler called Great Sleep:Reduce Cancer

  11. I just turn off all the color on my t.v. with the remote control on the menu button,basically it turns the t.v. into an old black and white t.v. like they had in the 60’s. Could of saved my self a lot of money by buying and b%w at the Salvation Army. 🙂 It does seem to make a difference, I seem to sleep alot better.

    • I don’t think this will block the blue out of the white light.

    • The white light of a black and white show is made up of all the frequencies of light in the visible spectrum, so it definitely will include blue light frequencies. If it works, it’s probably a subjective effect of being more conscious of it I’d guess.

  12. What do you think about wearing a facemask while sleeping? We have 7 windows in our bedroom. No way my husband is going to want black out shades. Is a facemask a good option?
    Thanks!

      • A dark room is best. Light can pass through your skull and affect you too.

    • Yes, a sleep mask is a good idea. ideally you should sleep in sleep in a dark room, particularly if you sleep on an usual or irregular schedule (i.e., trying to get much of your sleep during daylight hours). Plenty of light gets in through your closed eyelids, enough to affect the production of melatonin (not to mention that it will wake you up).

    • Hey Lara –

      If you can’t get blackout blinds, then your eye mask idea is a good one, for sure. If you want to go one step further to achieve great sleep, start your evening routine a little earlier than usual (if possible) and allow your mind to unwind. That was literally the biggest needle-mover in my sleep routine. From there, a few guidelines to follow that will go a long way are:

      – Avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol, nicotine, and eating within 3-4 hours of bedtime.
      – Consider removing electronics from your bedroom altogether.
      – Keep your bedroom temperature on the cool side (65-72 degrees).
      – As per Katie’s great post, avoid blue light of all kinds prior to bed (avoiding it after dark in general would be ideal).
      – If necessary, there are several herbs and supplements that can improve sleep. Notable herbs include: lavela/lavender (5-7 drops of lavender oil in your bath), chamomile tea or essential oil, passionflower (herb), California poppy essential oil (20-30 drops before bedtime), hops (used in extract form) and ashwagandha (1 to 6 grams in capsule form or use the roots to make tea). Notable supplements include melatonin, 5-Hydroxytryptopha (5-HTP), and magnesium.

      Implementing many of these tactics did wonders for my sleep quality. Hope this additional information is helpful!

  13. I’ve had a pair of these glasses for a few years now and they really do work. Sure, you look like a dork wandering around your house at night in safety glasses, but if it helps me to fall asleep, who cares! I’ve had terrible insomnia since childhood and the anti-blue light therapies have worked for me. I have a salt lamp in my bedroom, and for other lights that you might use at night, you can try yellow bug light bulbs, and if you search hard enough, you can find amber colored chandelier bulbs. The key though is once your house is in amber lockdown for the night do not turn on the TV, gadgets or regular lights – not even for 10 seconds – without the glasses on. It will screw up the whole process. For middle of the night trips to the bathroom, get a salt lamp night light. And for the nights when I really need it, I use Hylands homeopathic Nerve Tonic and Insomnia tablets. 2 Nerve Tonics an hour before bed, and 2 Insomnia when I’m ready to fall asleep. They dissolve under your tongue so they work quickly. The combination of these two homeopathic tablets work way better than any prescription or over the counter sleep aid, and believe me, I’ve tried them all. The Nerve Tonic can be taken during the day (it doesn’t make you tired, but calms your mind), so they come in handy for say, spending the afternoon with your Mother. 😉 I’m guilty of late night iPad-ing, so look for a blue light blocker for your iPad and smartphone. I like these: http://www.sleepshield.com Sorry to be so long winded, but I really hope this comment might help others struggling with insomnia.

  14. Great article. I have used the exact same glasses for about 6 months as well as use Flux. Before using the glasses, I struggled to get 8 hours of sleep. I would not get sleepy until around midnight (often later) and awoke around 5:30-6:00 without an alarm. The first night I used the glasses (putting them on at sunset) I got sleepy and went to bed at 10. My sleep quality also improved tremendously. The only thing that stinks is watching orange TV for a couple of hours but it no longer is an issue for me.

    Now I consistently get around 8 hours of more restful sleep. If your sleep suffers at all get the glasses.

  15. I use f.lux on my computer and iPhone. I can’t say I notice a difference because I’ve never had issues sleeping. If I do have trouble with waking up at night, it has more to do with wonky blood sugar. But I highly recommend f.lux anyway, and who knows? Maybe if I got rid of it my sleep would decline over time. I love how it can use your location services to fade on and off based on when sunset and sunrise are in your location. It’s a bummer f.lux doesn’t have an app for Android devices yet, but I have installed something similar on my tablet and I have no idea if it’s actually working. In the evenings I also prefer to read to help me avoid the TV late at night.

    • What is the name of the android app?

  16. I really would like to get f.lux on my ipad air. Does anyone have an easy way of doing this? It says you have to download Cadiz in order to do this, but I am having a really hard time getting it to work. I would appreciate any help!
    Thank you!
    Kim

  17. Sorry! It is suppose to be Cydia- not Cadiz.
    Kim

    • You have to jailbreak your iPad in order to install Cydia. I wouldn’t recommend that, for various reasons. I’ve done it before, but you’re going to need to be comfortable with writing code in order to be successful. Look for a blue light filter that goes on your iPad instead. SleepShield is $30 for iPad Air, which is a much better option than bricking your $600 iPad by jailbreaking.

  18. Hi, I want to add that when I read at night, I wear one of those miner’s headlamps (really attractive, right???) but I only use the red LED setting. I noticed a few years ago that I would start to feel hyper and wound up when I had it on the bright, white setting while reading in bed and it could keep me awake for hours.

    I use a sleep mask too sometimes.
    I will look in to the orange sunglasses now too:) thanks!

  19. It makes perfect sense that the orange glasses would reduce the blue light. Orange is the complement of blue on the color wheel. In painting to dull one color, add its complement.

  20. Thanx a lot for sharing. Love from India.

  21. It looks like with all he f.lux recos in the comments a few people didn’t read the whole piece, since she does recommend the app. (I’m often a super skimmer too. I get it.)

    Anyway, thanks for this, Katie, and for all the helpful comments. Oil pulling has improved my sleep but I’ve been concerned about all the light in my room. Even if we lived by candlelight, we’d have light issues b/c we live in the city. I wish there was a more stylish option (vanity!) but I might give this a go.

  22. What a fantastic way to convince people to buy Orange sunglasses that you get a percentage of the sales fee. Genius!

    • I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I make affiliate commissions from some links on my site. (https://wellnessmama.com/affiliate-disclosure/) In fact, I post my affiliate policy that details all of my affiliate relationships at the top of every post. It also explains that I NEVER post a link to something I haven’t personally purchased and used myself and found to be helpful. My mission in blogging is to help other moms provide a healthier lifestyle for their families and thankfully, many moms are interested in this topic. It now costs hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars a month to keep my site up and secure and I’ve committed to never posting ads on my site, so non-pushy affiliate links are one way that I can help defer the cost of keeping things running. If this is offensive to you, please consider finding another website to read that doesn’t make any money in any way.

      • You should be making money! You provide so much high-quality helpful information on your blog at NO CHARGE! I’m so very thankful for your blog. You were one of the many that inspired me to start my own!

      • Katie,

        You are far too genteel with such trolls. Must be the calm you get from your lifestyle — congrats!

        • Great comment Jake…my thoughts exactly.

      • I started wearing blue light blocking glasses almost a year ago. Before that I was turning off all or almost all lights before bed, using just electric candles with a yellow tint. I got tired of walking around in the darkness. I now have several pair of blue blockers – one from lowbluelights.com. Although the amber tint alters colors, theses glasses don’t darken my vision. I will use them to watch TV. I also have a pair of Eagle Eyes sunglasses and a pair of amber tinted glasses with readers from Amazon. I use the readers to read from my Kindle Paperwhite at night. Meanwhile I have been more intentional about not being on my computer, cell phone, Kindle Fire at night and watch only “calm” type TV shows, like House Hunters International 🙂

        Blue blockers can block blue light, but they can’t prevent the stimulation you get if you are working on a late night computer project, watching a disturbing movie or getting an upsetting text. I also try to get outside/exercise during the day so I am exposed to bright light to shut down melatonin secretions. All I can tell you is that my sleep has greatly improved and most nights I fall asleep fast and sleep 7 to 8 hours.

  23. I just downloaded the Flux software and I really hope it will help make a difference. I have a sleep disorder and look forward to seeing if this plus orange glasses makes a difference. Thanks for the info.

  24. Great post! Thanks for spreading the word! I had to spend almost $400 to get prescription blue light blocking glasses since my eyesight is so bad, I can’t see 3 feet in front of me without glasses lol! But it was worth it since I’m more tired at bedtime 🙂

    • 1. I have a pair of BluBlockers that I use for night driving. It turns those nasty halogen headlights coming at you into a muted orange-yellow. Big relief. Also good for getting up to hit the bathroom in the middle of the night.

      2. I also have a pair of BluBlocker CLIP-ONS sold by the same company for use with my Rx glasses.

  25. Katie, I love your blog.. You know your stuff – such a huge help to a busy single mother trying to keep myself and my children and optimum health and wellness! Thank you for all you do.

  26. Katie, do you know which style of the Uvex orange glasses would fit over a regular pair of glasses? I am super-nearsighted so I have to wear my glasses or I won’t be able to see! Thanks!

  27. Hello, Katie!

    First, I’d like to say how thankful I am to you for all you do — you are so inspiring.

    On the subject of blue light at night, does this apply to “nightlights” as well I’m assuming? I ask because it’s in the middle of the night and I’m nursing my youngest, catching up on your blog posts on my iPhone (without those fabulous orange glasses – I’ll need to invest!), and the oh-so-innocent soft blue glow of a nightlight I have plugged in in my daughters room just became glaringly questionable. Thoughts on this?

    • We don’t use nightlights for this reason and I also don’t look at my phone at night unless I’m wearing the glasses. It seems like such a crazy and mundane thing to worry about but it makes a big difference…

  28. Will any orange glasses work?
    I remember years ago they used to add a pink tint to prescription glasses to protect from computer eye strain. Has orange proved to be better?

  29. Lovely article! But I just wanted to point out that the Uvex glasses aren’t actually blue blocking glasses, and therefore don’t actually work as such. They really are meant to be safety glasses and aren’t very effective at blocking blue spectrum light, which is very important as blue blocking for this purpose is an all or nothing deal. I actually am very well informed on blue light and the effect it has on one’s sleeping schedule, becuase I have a sleeping disorder called Delayed Phase Sleep Disorder. It means my natural circadian rhythm is chronically an stubbornly set to “night owl”. Meaning going to bed at 4-6am, and there’s little I can do to shift it. It rules my life, and you can bet I’ve done all I can to find out what effects me and what I can do about it.

    Using blue blocking glasses or other means of blocking or eliminating blue light before bedtime is called Darkness Therapy. As you stated in your article, eliminating blue light means that your body can produce melatonin naturally. However, if you expose yourself to one bit of blue light- even for an instant- then your darkness therapy is compromised. Because my sleep disorder is actually really severe, I’ve seen several sleep specialists. According to them, glasses like Uvex are useless against eliminating all blue spectrum light, and are basically just induce placebo effects in people. Yeah, you might be more sleepy with them, but it’s not becuase you’re blocking out blue light, because they’re not made for that and they don’t do the job. I just wanted to let you and your readers know that if you really need darkness therapy at night, please do your research and get proper blue-blocking or non-blue equipment/materials. Salt lamps, for instance, while they give off a orange glow, still have blue light in them from the white light bulb in the middle. You can however, get bulbs that only emit red and orange spectrum light- NO blue light, or even green light. I have these in my bathroom and bedroom so that way after I take off my blue-blocking glasses (proper ones made for doing so) I won’t ruin my darnkess therapy while I wash my face or get into bed.

    I actually found out that Uvex glasses didn’t work for myself before I heard it from the sleep specialist. I bought them becuase the brand blue blockers were quite expensive, so I went the cheaper route. Well, you get what you pay for. They didn’t work at all for me, even wearing them 4-6 hours before bedtime, for over a month. When I finally sucked it up and bought legitimate blue blockers, I could go to sleep within an hour or two of putting them on- which is a MIRACLE for me, you have NO idea! So for those with a real issue with circadian rhythms, please consider shelling out the money for actual blue-blocking glasses or non-blue lights. It’s worth it!

    Also a few tips from someone who has spent their life looking for ways to get to sleep earlier-
    With melatonin supplements, less is more. Take 1/4 of a 3mg pill- that’s PLENTY. Too much melatonin can actually wake you up. Please be aware that if you are taking SSRIs you should not take melatonin, as it can mess with your serotonin. Also for those who are sensitive to serotonin changes, melatonin may temporarily exacerbate any underlying depression. Do not take melatonin for more than 3 weeks without a 1 week break. If you take it too frequently, your body will stop producing its own (for a while) and you can become dependent on it.
    Also, passionflower + melatonin = better than max prescrip sleeping pills (believe me I’ve tried). Put simply, passionflower has a compound in it that basically sticks in the receptors for melatonin, so it helps you get to sleep and stay asleep. I use store bought passionflower tincture, which you can find at many grocery stores or vitamin stores.

    Also, light therapy. Darkness therapy at night and light therapy in the morning is a winning combination. Just be sure to do your research on what bright light lamps are safe, as some can potentially cause macular degeneration.

    I hope these tips help someone 🙂
    As for me, it’s back to the sleep specialist becuase my body keep adapting to all the treatments. Last I tried to shift my sleep schedule back, I was doing darkness therapy at night, light therapy in the morning, melatonin + passionflower + nervine tinctures, epsom salt baths before bed, lavender EO on my feet and pillow, max dosage prescription sleeping pills mixed with benzos (with doctors approval).. all of that and I barely was able to shift my sleep schedule to wake up for a gig (wake up at 9:30am) and it took 2 months of constant struggle to do it. It didn’t stick either, I was back to 5am bedtime within 2 weeks. *sigh*

    • Thanks much for the additional information! It makes my habit of mining comments worthwhile to find nuggets of gold like yours.

    • Kate,
      That is a bold statement to say that the UVEX Amber glasses are useless against blocking blue light.
      In fact I would say they are certainly more USEFUL than useless.

      For example I cannot look directly into my Phillips GoLite without the UVEX amber glasses on. It is quite painful and leaves ghosting in my vision for a significant time even if I look for just one second (which is all I could really stand, is an incidental quick glance.)

      If I have the UVEX amber glasses on, the GoLite is just a trickle of light. I can stare directly at it for an unlimited amount of time. There will be no ghosting or pain.

      The glasses have to be blocking at least 90% of the light. I can’t imagine the difference between them and “blublockers” to be more than a few percent. Perhaps that made all the difference to you, but to say that something that blocks all but perhaps a fraction of blue light is useless, is really ridiculous sounding.

    • Wow. It sounds like you have heavy metals toxicity. If you get this post, try a hair analysis for it. Will turn an early bird into a night owl (until it kills you.)

      I was told by a nutritionist that doctors in this country are not trained to notice heavy metals toxicity symptoms. Think if you breathed them by fumes in any way in your past. One metals opens the gate for many others after.

      Then, you need a good chelation program. I use EDTA, and MSM. Seems to work well. Retest the hair analysis every six months or so, as you like and can afford. Is about $120 per test now from whom I use.

      Thank you for the info. and anecdotes.

    • Wow! I’ve been looking for information like this my entire life!!!!! Thank you so much- so helpful!

  30. Hi Katie!

    I read your posting, and just had to share these Cat Eye Mask, orange lens, sunglasses. You can try them on virtually using a webcam!

    Heather

  31. Katie, Great info. I will forward this to my sister. she works the night shift and monitors about 20 computers for 12 hour shifts. She has been having problems sleeping,, so I think these glasses will certainly help her.

    You’ve helped a lot of people.

    Thanks

  32. One comment re f.lux — it filters out some, but does not remove all the blue light — the result you get depends on your particular monitor and how bright it is. Craig at LEDMuseum provides a whole lot of information — here’s the spectrum from his monitor, from this page: http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/23/monitor.htm

    White:
    http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/30/asusfw.gif

    White with f.lux running:
    http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/30/asusflux.gif

    You can see that f.lux has somewhat reduced the level of the blue but not eliminated it, not even close.

    I use colored sheets of theatrical gel over computers at night — you can look up the spectrum for each color. Here for example, you can see this eliminates the blue band:

    http://www.rosco.com/filters/SED.cfm?titleName=R10:%20Medium%20Yellow&imageName=../images/filters/roscolux/10.jpg

  33. Katie,

    What DO you recommend for night-lights for children? Our two-year-old (who sleeps in her own room) used to do great in a completely dark room, but when she started dreaming more, we found it helpful to add in some light because she would wake up feeling distressed. I thought I remembered reading somewhere that blue light was restful, so I thought it might be helpful, actually. Didn’t know that blue light is only good in the daytime…. Would a Himalaya salt lamp be better? But are those safe for little ones?

    • We don’t have any lights in our children’s rooms, but have a salt lamb just outside so if they need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night they can see.

    • You can get special blue light blocking night lights and bulbs from lowbluelights.com. That way your child will still have some light but it won’t disturb their melatonin production.

  34. Hi Katie, thanks for this article. I have more understanding of the link between light and our health. But I think blue light blocking glasses is more useful than ordinary sunglasses. All of the sunglasses can block UV radiation. It really make our eyes comfortable since it can reduce the glare from light source. But they can’t work well in blocking blue light. To test how the glasses block blue light, the best way is to use a spectrometer. I chose T’aime Optics, which states to block 97% of blue light. You can also have a look at how this works and how blue light protection glasses works:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmUebEu3GzE

  35. I just had to comment on this post- I LOVE my orange glasses. I’ve been wearing them for just a couple days, but I’m seeing huge improvements. It is different to get used to, but I actually like the warm color I get with them. I find that when I take them off, the bright lights are uncomfortable at night. I now naturally feel ready for bed at about 10 pm each night, which is a huge improvement over staying up past midnight for no good reason. I feel that my sleep is more restful and my dreams are less irritating (my antidepressants give me the wildest dreams, Maybe I’ll wean off of them one day) I have the kind of glasses that fit over my regular glasses (I’m nearsighted) so that when I take my contacts out, I can still see. Great post Katie!

  36. Hi,

    Does anyone have experience installing a similar application to Flux on their IPhone or IPad? I am hesitant to jail break my phone which is what is required in order to use Flux on both the iPhone and iPad.

    Thank You!

    Alexis

  37. Two questions:

    1 – Anyone have luck having their child wear blue blockers? My daughter’s schedule can be a little wonky with our schedules, and I’d love to do anything to help her with sleep quality.

    2 – My husband works night shift (7p-7a) in law enforcement (so he can’t wear these at the latter part of his shift)….how could he benefit? He struggles with sleep. Blackout curtains helped. Could get him a mask, but if he wore these at home, it would be daylight outside already. Would that still be helpful?

    Thanks SO MUCH for the wealth of information you provide. It’s a total game-changer and much appreciated. For what it’s worth, I hope you DO get paid from sponsors. 🙂

  38. Katie,

    Thank you so much for addressing this issue! Blessings to you.

  39. After reading this blog, I got to know why you like to wear orange sunglasses at bight, and I totally agree with you. Keep sharing.

  40. I have a pair of the Melatonin Shades. What I like about them over regular blue blocking glasses is that the sides are padded to block outside light. They are also very comfortable. I keep them in the drawer under my bed and use them when i use my laptop or phone at night.

    • Great post, but you might want to remove the comment regarding Melatonin Shades. I came across the comment as part of my search for amber shades and ordered Melatonin Shades from the company website. When I looked at my credit card statement, I noticed the charge was almost 50% higher than my invoice. They told me they had charged me in US dollars (even though they are a Canadian company). They have since updated their website to reflect USD in the price, but at the time of my order, the currency was not shown. Even worse, after I returned the product for a refund, Canada Post tracking info shows they refused delivery TWICE, so they never processed my refund. While I know your great blog is not a place for consumer complaints, I thought I would add a post to protect your loyal readers from incurring the same hassle that I did.

      • My wife and I use Melatonin Shades and love them. You probably got charged your currency exchange rate if you’re in canada, which i’m sure you must be exaggerating..can’t be 50% the canadian rate is probably closer to 25%. I ordered from these guys and had no problems. And their website does indicate that it’s in US funds..

  41. I have the Uvex glasses you linked to that go over eye-glasses. They have been a huge help! Made a commitment to take better care of myself this year, and improving my sleep and reducing stress/anxiety has been near the top of the list.
    I used to lay in bed for hours before being able to sleep, even with working out, eating well, and getting up early. I made several changes in my routine (no caffeine after noon, cut morning coffee from 3-5 cups of coffee to 2-3 etc.) and a month ago I added these glasses, since I often find myself on my phone shortly before bedtime. It has made a significant difference in both how quickly I am able to fall asleep and the quality of sleep I have. I’ll wear them several hours before bed, and game or watch movies with them on too (they do distort color, but I’ve found it a fair trade for better sleep).

    Thanks for such a fun blog. I’ve gotten a lot of ideas from you over the past year! Love the DIY stuff and decided to give dry brushing a try too 🙂

  42. Hello! I may have missed this in the post, but as an eye doc, I can let you and your readers know 404nm (violet) is also thought to be a risk factor, if not an outright cause, for macular degeneration. Blue blockers a great solution. Especially if you are fair or have other risk factors. Extra nutrition a good idea too (lutein, zeaxanthin, dha, etc.).

    • Should people at risk for macular degeneration use blue blocking glasses day and night?

  43. Great! I wear a pair of T’aime clip on glasse on my prescription glasses to help reduce eye strain by cutting the blue light when I work in front of my computer. They really help a lot. I think more and more people should pay attention to the conception of harmful blue light.

  44. Wow! this article is great, it’s interesting and factual. I have never come across orange sunglasses before. I’m guessing they are just protecting your eyes from the lights? So after reading this am I right in saying that it’s electronic devices with blue lights such as phones, television, Ipads that are causing people to have a poor quality of sleep? I know when I am on my laptop in the evening or at night I will dim the brightness of my screen. I think I will do a research on this and put my sleep quality to the test, because I have a bad habit on being on my phone in bed after dark so for a few nights I will try not to use it and see how I get on.

  45. I have never heard of this before, but now that I read your post, it does make sense. Probably not for me that sleep like a baby (I actually take my baby to bed at night and end up sleeping too), but I think my hubby would benefit… that is, as long as he is willing to try it!

  46. Very interesting post!

  47. Does anyone know of glasses of this kind for children?

  48. Awesome idea, I will add this to my list of things to try. One more hint for better sleep and this has been foundational for me…..Buteyko Breathing Method. ( Nose breating instead of mouth along with exercises to increase what is called a “control pause” ) It increases you r Co2 levels which opens up arteries and relaxes soft muscle tissue. PLEASE youtube this and learn about this. The first night that I taped my mouth closed and learned to breath through my nose instead of my mouth was the first night I finally slept through the night ( after years of waking up throughout the night) BTW I don’t sell anything just passing on another hint

  49. My adrenal test results found I have too much melatonin production!? Anyone know what that is about. I’m guessing it could be to do with too little daylight exposure in the daytime (since it was end of winter and I had little time outside)

  50. So definitely wud i wear em that im ordering ur pair recommended NOW. Never was able to research them out, so taking ur reseach and doing it lol

  51. Just a question: Would it be beneficial to use the old fashioned soft white incandescent light bulbs (they are about 2700K) rather than the CFL bulbs that are much higher and cooler on the color spectrum (5000-6000K)? Thanks!

    • CFL bulbs are definitely cooler on the spectrum and more problematic, but there are blue wavelengths in regular bulbs as well. Some people seem to do ok with regular bulbs on a dimmer, but I find the glasses easier.

  52. Hey Katie,
    I am currently on my maternity leave and my sleep quality is really bad, I’m thinking of buying the glasses.
    Have you tested any of the more high end stuff like the ones presented on this page: http://discoverasmr.com/sleep/blue-blockers/ ?

    Thanks,
    Meg

    • My husband has used the Gunnar gamer glasses as he spends a lot of time in front of a computer screen for work and he really likes them…

  53. What about for contact/glasses wearers? I guess you could wait to remove contacts till right before bed so you could wear orange glasses. But some days I just wear my glasses all day. My vision is pretty bad so I have to have one or the other. I like removing my contacts after I get kids in bed just to relax & prep for bedtime. So any ideas/suggestions for this scenario? Thanks!

  54. I’m super interested in this. I just started working part time night shift as a nurse (I’ve done it in the past), and am worried about the health impact. I keep my room as dark as possible and cool and quiet, but I probably need these glasses too. Do you wear them while you are sleeping? Or do you wear them while you are at work? Since it blocks the light that causes melatonin inhibition, would that make me more tired while working?

  55. I recently looked at Swannies for reducing blue light. They’re a lot more expensive than standard glasses but what amazed me is that in their FAQ page they state that the glasses can be worn during daytime hours as well to prevent eye strain etc. I think wearing such glasses that block 100% Blue LIght during the day is not very recommended as the light is beneficial during the day. What do you think?

  56. You forgot to mention that blue light damages the eyes.

  57. I use f.lux on my laptop and the ‘Night Shift’ mode on my cell phone at night; I find it super helpful!
    The orange hue starts setting in as early as 4:30 and, by 11, it’s quite orange. It also notifies me that I’ll be waking up in a certain amount of hours, which is a good bedtime reminder. I have been able to use my laptop within 5 minutes of sleeping and it has not affected my ability to fall asleep. I used to be up for hours if I used my laptop or phone before bed. Great idea 🙂

  58. For the last several days I have been researching the best ways to protect my eyes from blue light and pulse width modulation. It is hard to find monitors that block both and impossible to find a laptop screen that does either. Fortunately, I ran across this article and then an article from Consumer Reports. At CR they tested three different pair of blue block glasses; Uvex, Gunnar, and Spektrum. The Uvex was the only pair that blocked out almost all the blue light. The Gunnar’s block half and the Spektrum only blocked a third. So just because a product is more expensive doesn’t mean it will work better than a less expensive alternative. Here is the address for this CR article: http://www.consumerreports.org/eyeglass-stores/3-blue-blockers-put-to-the-test/. Hope this might help someone out.

  59. My mom works night shifts at a supermarket that is open 24 hours. Would anyone please recommend anything to remedy damaging effects of very bright lights all night?

    I looked at the glasses, they are effective, but also attract too much (unwanted) attention and could potentially be not allowed. Are there any eyeglasses that look like normal once, but block the blue/green light ? Any other things that could be beneficial to my mom?
    Thank you

  60. Thank you so much for this. I’ve been wearing Gunnar glasses for the last few years, but thought they looked kinda dorky :). However, after taking a look at the one’s you’ve upgraded to on Amazon by Swanwick Sleep I thought they looked pretty cool.

    So, because of both your article and reading reviews I decided to pick up a pair of them today.

    Thanks again Wellness Mama! You rock.

  61. Love love love your blog, it totally rocks! It seems like everything I google tends to direct me to some awesome recipe or diy project you’ve already done. Thank you!! On the subject of “blue-light blocking,” I know a ton about this stuff. I work in the industry and we manufacture blue-light blockers and have been turned on to the amazing benefits for years. There is so much information and mis-information out there. But research is growing and we are getting better at identifying exactly what is harmful (and why!) It’s all about the nanometers. The wha?? 😉 The measurement on the visible light spectrum where light passing through the lens of your eye becomes physically harmful to your retina. (The retina is your projection monitor in the back of your eye.) They’ve actually mapped the most damaging HEV light out to 411nm. Vision Council, Harvard, and Mayo Clinic may not exactly agree on 411nm. However, it is widely accepted that 400-420nm are THE WORST, most harmful, HEV (high energy visible) light rays. These are the ones emitted from computers, tablets, cell phones, LED lights, those horrid flickering florescent lights in your office and your child’s school ! However, NOT ALL blue light is bad for you. Once you get above 450 or 460nm, it’s all good stuff! Seriously, you think blue skies are bad for you?? You need this light. This helps you stay alert during daylight hours, it helps your metabolism, your body needs this blue light in order to keep circadian rhythm in sync. The problem with orange filters is that you are blocking out all the blue light, not just the harmful stuff. So, while you may be enjoying a peaceful night’s rest finally, you’ve changed the perception of your world to look orange and weird, plus you’ve eliminated not only healthy blue light, but other fantastic colors too! Switch to a pair of “Cocoons Purify lenses” and reap the benefits of a high quality HEV light blockers without the orange haze. 🙂 Trust me, it’s good stuff. I am wearing mine right now. And so are my colleagues!

  62. What about red glasses? Same results? Thank you:)

    • Potentially, but not necessarily. It isn’t actually just the color, but its ability to block certain spectrums of light. So red should do some or all of the same thing, but I don’t know for sure without testing it.

  63. The link you provided is quite old and older versions of f.lux as far as I’m aware used a color temperature of 3400k or more. From the spectrum it looks like the Monitor had quite a low color temperature to begin with. However, even if the Monitor had a color temperature of 6500k, at 3400k you still have more than half the color temperature, therefore what you see in those graphics – a reduction in the blue light of a bit less than half – is what is expected.

    More recent version of f.lux can dim down to 1200k. White light as such does not really appear white anymore and has more of a reddish tone. The link you provided showed that when displaying red or green light, there was no emission of blue light according to the spectrometer, so very likely by reducing color temperature more aggressively blue light will be adequately reduced. If you google fluxometer you can see with 1200k the Melanopic lux is generally reduced to a level that is not biologically significant.

    I’m interested to hear your ideas or further input.

  64. This is all exciting and informative. But what I do when I wish to get a good, restful night’s sleep, is the following. I turn off my computer and TV about two hours before I plan to go to bed, then for the next couple of hours I eat a light snack, drink two good beers (not Bud Lite for example, but real beer), while reading an absorbing novel in bed. Then I set the alarm, turn out all the lights, rest my head on my Tempurpedic ™ pillow (recently acquired and awesome), and am asleep within fifteen minutes. I think often the easier, natural solutions are the best ones.

  65. Hi Katie! I heard you mention orange glasses on a recent podcast – I believe you said something about finding a new, cheap version of them recently. Is there a particular brand you would recommend for kids? I have a 3 and 6 year old. Thanks!

  66. I work nights and would love to get a pair of these glasses I really struggle with sleep. My biggest problem I see is none of these glasses work with existing Rx glasses. Is there a pair you recommend that would fit over my glasses?

  67. So are you suggesting wearing the glasses AND using a program like flux?

    • Yes, both are good to do. Flux is good if you’re on your computer at night, but the glasses block blue light from all the other sources you’ll be around.

      • Thanks for the clarification!

  68. That was a GREAT question, Chris. I almost overlooked the fact that I wear glasses as well. Thanks for the wear-over suggestion, Katie!

  69. So interested in these glasses. Wondering if it would help me waking up after 3-4 hours of sleep and not falling back to sleep. Also I see Blue Blocker Glasses in an amber color. Are these as effective as the orange ones.

    Thanks for all your research Katie

    • It very well might help with that, try it and see. There are quite a few different manufacturers who make them in different colors, but you’ll need to research and see how much of the blue light spectrum is actually blocked…

  70. Hi, I used to see my grandmother wear her prescription dark/sun glasses to watch t.v. at night. I was wondering if wearing prescription sun glasses at night might help with the blue light filtration?

Join the Conversation...

Please read the comment policy before replying to this post.