Why I Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses (at Night)

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Why I wear blue light blocking Orange Glasses at Night
Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » Why I Wear Blue Light Blocking 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 too

In 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

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

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


167 responses to “Why I Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses (at Night)”

  1. Debvrat Chaturvedi Avatar
    Debvrat Chaturvedi

    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.

  2. David Avatar


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

  3. Michelle Avatar

    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. 🙂

  4. Alexis Avatar


    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!


  5. Charlee Avatar

    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!

  6. Summer Avatar

    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:

  7. Dani Avatar


    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?

    1. Leslie Degner Avatar
      Leslie Degner

      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.

  8. Hank Roberts Avatar
    Hank Roberts

    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 with f.lux running:

    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:


    1. Daniel Avatar

      Hi Hank, thank you for the excellent comment. I’m curious about your use of “colored sheets of theatrical gel over computers at night”. I looked up the link you provided but still have no clue how this works and how do I actually buy and apply it? Would you mind just briefly explaining this? Would be very grateful if you could.

  9. gloria Avatar

    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.


  10. Heather Avatar

    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!


  11. Kate Avatar

    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*

    1. jake Avatar

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

    2. Jason Avatar

      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.

    3. David Avatar

      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.

    4. Linda Avatar

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

    5. Daniel Avatar

      Excellent comment Kate. Thank you very much for this information. May I ask where do you get the “actual blue-blocking glasses”? In other words, how do I go about finding them? When I search for blue light blocking glasses I get Uvex and similar kinds, but it seems you are talking about a different kind/class of glasses, how do I find them? Would really appreciate your help with this. I have similar circadian rhythm issues to yours.

        1. Daniel Avatar

          Thanks Katie. I did see the ones in the link in the article, but I was asking this in response to Kate’s comment above (comment number 30) where she said that a sleep specialist told her that the common ones on the market are not really blocking all that much blue light and that one needs to get “legitimate blue-blocking glasses”, and was asking her where she actually got the “legitimate” ones from. Hopefully she’ll reply.

          PS. By the way, in case you don’t know already, you can get the exact same glasses that are sold for $30 on Amazon, for less than $5 on AliExpress from China (that’s almost certainly where the Amazon seller got it from, making around $25 profit on each pair sold on Amazon. It’s called drop-shipping, buying things from China cheaply and selling it on Amazon expensively to people who don’t know they can get it cheaply themselves from ‘Ali Express’ in China).

  12. norma Avatar

    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?

  13. Liz Avatar

    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?

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      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…

  14. Doreen Smith Avatar
    Doreen Smith

    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!

  15. Melody Avatar

    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.

  16. Danielle Avatar

    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. Joel Avatar

      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.

  17. Jill Avatar

    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.

  18. Luke Gibson Avatar
    Luke Gibson

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

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      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.

      1. Becca Avatar

        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!

      2. jake Avatar


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

      3. Leslie Degner Avatar
        Leslie Degner

        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.

  19. Jessica Avatar

    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.

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