Smartphones, television, and computers provide us with many benefits, but many of us don’t realize that using them near our bedtime can have a severe impact on our sleep. The devices emit an intense blue light that can disrupt a person’s sleep-wake cycle by inhibiting melatonin production and energizing their brain, which shouldn’t happen before sleep. However, if you cannot avoid them before bed, using blue-light blocking glasses can help you protect the brain. Just like the night mode on your phone’s apps, the lenses prevent your eyes from receiving blue wavelengths, keeping the light away from interfering with your brain’s melatonin production. We’ve made a list of our top choices and a buying guide that can help you get all the necessary information about this product.
Top Choices for Best Blue-Light Blocking Glasses
Eyekepper BB98 Slim Vintage Glasses
- Customized Frame Styles
- Different colors of lenses
- Blocks 95% of blue light
- Prescription strength is available
If you are looking for glasses that fit your fashion preferences, Eyekepper BB98 Slim Vintage Glasses offers different styles of frames and a wide range of choices for shades of the lenses, giving you a wide range of options to consider. You can choose from sixteen frame styles and different lenses – orange, or orange ones. The orange lenses are the most popular because they block 95% of light within the 395 and 500 nm wavelength. However, Eyekepper has admitted that BB98 can cause severe discoloration.
Because Eyekepper has designed its product as traditional frames, they offer both prescription models with 14 strength options and non-prescription ones. The price depends on the choice of lenses and prescription strength.
GAMMA RAY Blocking Glasses
- Orange lens
- Customized frame styles
- Blocks 97% of blue light
The Gamma Ray Blue-Light Blocking Computer Glasses are the most affordable blue light blocking glasses that don’t make any sacrifices or compromises in terms of durability and effectiveness. In terms of design, there is only one color for the lenses and the frames, and one unisex head size that fits most adults. They are also lightweight, with frames that won’t burden you. Additionally, they are TX-compatible, which means that an optometrist can easily replace the lenses with the proper prescription strength. The company sold blue-light and UV blocking models to use during the daytime, but this model is the first that focuses on helping with your sleep.
Spectra479 Blue Blocking Amber Glasses
- Amber-colored lens
- Customized frame styles
- Blocks 99.8% of blue light
The Spectra479 offers the best nighttime only blue-light blocking glasses with its Amber model. It effectively blocks 98% of blue light between 280 and 510 nm wavelengths, which is one of the broadest ranges you can find. They also have a wraparound style that stops any peripheral blue light from damaging your eyes. However, with the dark lenses, the product was designed for nighttime use only, so you should not wear them during the day. Nonetheless, they are very effective and durable and will make sure that blue-light won’t bother you during the night. The downside is that they are one of the costly models on the market, but they are worth it if you are sensitive to light and you want to make sure it doesn’t bother you before bed.
J+S Vision Glasses
- Light color shades of lenses
- Customized Frame Styles
- Blocks 90% of blue light
In contrary to the previous model, the J+S Vision offers the best daytime only blue-light blocking glasses that prevent 90% of blue light around the 400 and 430 nm wavelength. They are available in multiple frame designs – round, rectangular or wayfarer, and colors – tortoiseshell or black. The lenses are available in two different options – high definition (HD) and low color distortion (LCD) lens. The HD lens has excellent clarity and glare reduction, which is perfect for gaming or prolonged computer use. The LCD lens reduces the color distortion, making it a suitable choice for individuals that have color-sensitive work – graphic or fashion designers. Both lens models have hydrophobic treatment with a -layer anti-reflective coating. However, they are expensive with three times more costly than any of the other models.
Eight Sleep Blue Wave Glasses
- Blocks light in 380 to 500 nm range
- Light-colored lens
- Stylish frames
The Blue Wave Glasses from Eight Sleep come with a modern design and black frames that will fit any look or outfit. They block a wide range of blue light – around 60% of light between 380 and 500 nm wavelength. WIth the light-colored lens, you can wear them during the entire day and night, especially if you’re working on a computer. However, they do cost slightly more than most models on the market, but the design has the approval of Eight Sleep’s Science Advisory Board. They also come with a cleaning cloth and carrying case.
Guide for Buying Blue-Light Blocking Glasses
Blue-light blocking glasses are a novelty, so their use and efficiency need to be clarified before moving to a variety of models to choose from.
What is Blue Light?
The sun, the ultimate source of light, is composed of the ROYGBIV rays – red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. When these colors are combined, they create sunlight. Light beams with longer wavelengths have less energy, while light rays with shorter wavelengths have more power. At the end of the visible light, the spectrum is where the blue light rays can be found. It has the shortest wavelength, which means it has the highest energy. In the visible light spectrum, it falls near the range of the ultraviolet rays (UV), which is already dangerous to humans and the cause of sunburn and skin cancer. Like UV rays, the portion of blue light that is visible to the naked eye brings both danger and benefit.
Having a daily dose of sunlight during the day is beneficial to us. Researchers have shown that being exposed to blue light for a short period is beneficial to our health – it facilitates better memory, cognition, alertness, and even improves mood. It also helps with the regulation of the body’s natural process of wakefulness and sleep cycle, as it helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. However, the danger comes from the synthetic blue-light producing objects, like LED lights, televisions, fluorescent lamps, smartphones, computers, and other digital devices. These devices can discharge an amount of blue light., and if you’re exposed to it for a very long period, it will not only bring eye strain but also have adverse effects on your health.
The moment your eyes are exposed to this light, it penetrates to your retina. When this light enters through our eyes, it causes damage to the cells inside it, which can eventually result in long-term problems, like loss of vision. The Paris Vision Institute explains that children who frequently use computers, smartphones, watching television, and other digital devices are likely to acquire eye-related problems at a very young age. Apart from that, too much exposure to these devices leads to a gradual loss of vision among adults as well.
Effects of Blue-Light
First, we need to establish the impact this light has on our bodies and sleep. Our internal body clock in naturally regulated by sunlight or specifically, the day/night cycle. The sunlight sends a message to the brain that it is time to wake up, and the night tells the brain that it is time to go to sleep. In the evening, the retina sends a message to the hypothalamus to start producing melatonin which then further lowers the body temperature and prepared our body for sleep
Unfortunately, new technologies are starting to impact this natural cycle. The screens of our electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, televisions and other, emit blue light which our brain mistakes for daylight. Blue light can be useful during the day because it keeps us focused, but it can damage our eyesight. However, in the evening, it can prevent us from hitting the hay peacefully. By sending false signals to our brains, it prevents or delays the production of melatonin, which then negatively impacts our sleep. You have all experienced a lack of sleep after watching television for too long in the evening or working on your computer until late. Due to blue light, it may take you longer to fall asleep, your sleep may be shorter and more restless, and lastly, deep sleep, one of the most important stages of sleep, is reduced.
Studies confirm the negative effect of the blue light on sleeping, such as the one which showed that the individuals who wore blue-light blocking glasses three hours before bed experienced deep uninterrupted sleep as opposed to the ones not wearing them.
Blue-light blocking glasses can also reduce the eye strain coming from long exposure to computer lights. Such eye strain can come after as much as two hours looking at the screen and can cause severe headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and pain in the neck and shoulders, so no need to point out the benefit here, especially since the majority of adults use computers longer daily.
It is even more damaging when it comes to younger people and children who tend to spend a lot of time in the evening playing video games, causing them to be tired and poorly focused the following day. Also, smartphones are becoming an integral part of their lives, so they do not part with them even in the evening, leaving them next to their beds, too close to their bodies, to emit the blue light during the night, thus reducing the sleeping hours even more. School children need nine to ten hours of sleep to refresh their bodies, and recent studies show they are sleeping less than seven hours.
This all indicates how important it is to minimize the influence of the blue light in the evening. It can be done by reducing the time spent on the devices in the evening and by stopping to use them one hour before sleep, or by choosing a book instead. As for children, we need to educate them to get into a regular sleeping routine by adhering to the suggestions above.
If limiting the exposure to this light in the evening is not an option for any reason, then you should turn to blue-light blocking glasses, as excellent protection against the potential damages of blue light.
Blue-light blocking glasses are also known as video gaming or computer reading models. As mentioned, they are intended to block intense blue light, so there are several points to think about before deciding on the right ones.
It is imperative for blue-light blocking glasses to protect from a wide range of wavelengths, so they should prevent at least 90% of blue light. The indicator for the amount of blocked light is the color of lenses. They come in various colors, from yellow, through orange to dark red. Darker lenses mean more protection and are better for night use, and lighter lenses are better for daytime use. They work by reflecting this light away from our eyes, so our brains do not perceive it as daylight, or in other words, they reduce the amount of light to a level adequate for the night. Thus, the brain will start producing melatonin on time, regardless of the effect of the screens. This is a crucial point to consider before choosing the lens color. It is worth mentioning that the daytime these blue-light blocking items should be taken off when going outside, to let your brain receive a necessary dosage of natural sunlight. Likewise, the dark lenses should not be used during the day, as they will signal the brain to start producing melatonin and you will start feeling sleepy or tired as if you are preparing for night rest. They should not be used when driving because of the possible color distortion.
The less important point is the frame color, as it is only a matter of aesthetics and personal taste. However, the size is significant as it needs to cover the head sizes of all ages, from children to older adults. It is vital to choose a model that fits your head’s size perfectly so that you don’t have difficulties when wearing it. There is a unisex size that was made to suit the average-sized adult, but it might be best to try out different models and find the one that best suits you.
For people already using eyeglasses with diopters, there is an option of fit-over blue-light blocking glasses which are designed to fit over regular glasses. These can also come combined with magnification options, according to the prescribed diopters.
Regardless of the protection that blue-light blocking products offer, exposure to digital screens should be limited, and users should take frequent breaks, for example, every 20 minutes. It is also useful to focus on objects in the distance, which are about 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.
If provided, you should use the red-light filter app on your device. Also, try not to use electronic devices for at least one hour before going to bed.
Finally, the prices of these products vary depending on the producer and quality, and if you want to save some money, you can wait for discounts.