Can’t Sleep?

How to Cure Your Sleep Deprivation

Back to Article
Back to Article

Can’t Sleep?

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Something we never thought we would be wearing 10 years ago, blue light glasses, feel like a mark of the future.

We’ve all heard people say to not use our phones before bed, but teenage complaints of sleep deprivation may not be due to just schoolwork.

In Bank of America’s annual “Trends in Consumer Mobility Report” in 2015, they found that 71% of adults sleep with or next to their phone. I can only imagine that teens in this percentile is much higher, as the percentage of teens who reported sleeping less than seven hours a night jumped by 22% from 2012 to 2015 in the same study. There is scarcely anyone I know who does not use their phone or computer before bed, myself included.

Sleep deprivation is directly linked to performing poorly in school, depression, anxiety, and other health issues. So if we could prevent this and get better sleep, why not?

The science behind the glasses lies in the process your brain goes through before bed. Blue light is the kind of light that comes from our phones. Our bodies associate this blue light with daylight and daytime, which causes the brain to suppress melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep. This light disrupts our circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep and harder to wake up in the morning.

Many iPhone users claim that the “Night Shift” setting, which makes the colors on your screen warmer, helps with the issue of blue light affecting their sleep. However, when a study was done recently by the “Lightning Research Center,” it was discovered that melatonin was still suppressed. This is probably due to the fact that it’s not the color that affects you as much, it’s the brightness of the screen.

Thankfully, blue light glasses block this type of light and allow your brain to release melatonin. A study on teenage boys tested the effect of the glasses by sitting them in front of an LED computer screen before bed with and without the glasses on.

The glasses significantly increased the that was melatonin released, decreasing attention and alertness before sleep (Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine).

Contrary to rumors, blue light glasses won’t help with eye strain after looking at a computer all day; this is best treated with eye drops or taking breaks since it is not the same type of problem. The real time to wear these glasses is four hours before your bedtime.

Basic, Uvex blue light glasses are under $10 on Amazon, but recently there have been more stylish options on the market, pricing up to $100. The brand Quay Australia has come up with many stylish blue light blocking options, now becoming an Instagram style trend.

The lasting effects of our modern technology are endless, but when it comes to your health it’s important to not underestimate blue light’s impact. Sleep deprivation and anxiety are problems seen everyday, caused by many factors, but considering this simple solution could help.