Most adults have experienced trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night. There are some things you can do before bed to help you sleep better like breathing exercises, taking a warm bath, playing soothing sounds, or drinking some melatonin tea. But what about wearing sunglasses? Does it help you sleep better at night by reducing the brightness of electronics or does it just make you look like a wannabe celebrity?
Why Lack of Sleep is Bad
Whenever you wake up the next day after a bad night’s sleep, it can have a physical, mental, and emotional toll on you. You become moody, you are not as alert, and in long-term cases, it can put you at risk with things like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is usually 7 hours, but this may differ for everyone. It is important to find out how much sleep you need, whether it is less or more than the recommended amount. As a general rule of thumb, if you wake up tired and need caffeine or a nap to get through the day, then you are probably not getting enough sleep. There may be many reasons why you struggle to get enough sleep and one of them might be the electronics you use right before going to bed.
Exposure to Bright Screens
The usage of technology has increased within the last couple of years. People are attached to their cell phones pretty much at all times during the day. Then there are computers screens, tablets, and television screens that can harm our eyes with excessive exposure to them. However, smaller screens that are used closer to your eyes can actually be one of the most harmful and the main cause of why you might not be able to sleep at night.
But after a long day at work, people are more prone to scroll mindlessly through their phones or binge-watch a show, maybe even do both at the same time. If this technology available to 24 hours of the day, our bodies might get confused about the time we are supposed to sleep and the time we should wake up. Wearing dark sunglasses may help to dull the bright screens and “trick” our body that it’s night time. But this can cause an inconvenience because of loss of visibility with other objects that are not our screen. Also, it wouldn’t truly solve the problem that is keeping us up at night, which is blue light.
The Real Culprit: Blue Light
Blue light is light in the visible spectrum (RGBIV) that is naturally emitted by the sun and lets our body know that it is time to be awake. However, this light is also emitted by the bright screens of the electronics we use. This confuses our body’s central circadian clock, which tells us when it is time to go to sleep and when it is time to get up. This can inhibit the body’s ability to melatonin, which is a hormone that helps people fall asleep.
Since blue light plays a factor in preventing people from getting a good night’s rest, it is recommended to stop the usage of electronics a couple of hours before bed. This is easier said than done, which is why blue light lenses are recommended.
Blue Light Lenses
While blue light lenses are not the same thing as stopping the use of electronics before bed, it can help minimize the effects of blue light. Blue light lenses are designed to filter blue light and also reduce the amount of glare from your screens. With these glasses, you can use your digital devices with a little more peace of mind. Although blue light lenses may not be for everyone, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.
Certain devices like your computer, tablet, or phone can interfere with your body’s central circadian clock. The blue light emitted from these devices can trick your body into thinking it is still daytime and therefore not produce enough melatonin to help you fall and stay asleep. Wearing sunglasses can help with the brightness of screens, but are impractical and worsen visibility with other things. You can also lower the brightness or use electronics in night mode, but it still doesn’t fully stop the issue. The best thing to do is to limit your use of these electronics before bed. And when you do use then, use them in night mode and wear blue light lenses.