How Artificial Wrecks Sleep & How Blue Light Can Help | Chris Kresser
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How Artificial Light Is Wrecking Your Sleep, and What to Do about It

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blue light and sleep, blue light melatonin
Blue light exposure at night can adversely affect a good night's sleep. istock.com/IngaNielsen

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” – Irish Proverb

The evidence for the health benefits of adequate, restful sleep is overwhelming. Decades of research has shown that sleeping between 7 and 9 hours per night can relieve stress, reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, improve memory and cognitive function, and may even help with weight loss. (1) As many of us know by now, getting adequate, high-quality sleep is one of the most important, yet under-appreciated steps you can take to improve your overall health and well-being.

Yet for all we know about the benefits of sleep, there are millions of Americans who are still suffering from disordered sleep and insomnia. More than one-third of Americans report getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night, and 63 percent of Americans say their sleep needs are not being met during the week. (2, 3) The negative effects of sleep deprivation are serious: sleep durations that are consistently shorter than 7 hours in a 24-hour period are associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors, depression, automobile and workplace accidents, learning and memory problems, and an overall increase in mortality. (4) Some may argue that poor sleep can even undo the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise routine. (5, 6)

Could using electronics at night ruin your sleep and increase your risk of death and disease? Check out this article to find out. #healthylifestyle #wellness #chriskresser

So what’s causing this epidemic of sleep disruption in our country? Many experts feel that our excessive use of communications technology (e.g. cell phones, laptops, television, etc.) is driving this significant level of sleep deprivation. If this is the case, it’s no wonder so many Americans struggle with poor sleep, since 95 percent have reported using some type of electronics at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed. (7) Checking email, watching your favorite late-night comedian, or responding to a text message in bed seems harmless enough, but the sleep disruption caused by these light-emitting devices is significant and potentially harmful to your health.

Research has demonstrated that nighttime light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin, the major hormone secreted by the pineal gland that controls sleep and wake cycles. (8) Therefore, a reduction in melatonin at night is associated with subjective levels of sleeplessness. (9, 10) But melatonin suppression has far worse consequences than simply poor sleep outcomes: it has also been shown to increase the risk of cancer, impair immune system function, and possibly lead to cardiometabolic consequences such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and heart disease. (11, 12, 13)

With serious consequences like these, preventing melatonin suppression should be a top priority in anyone’s healthy lifestyle.

Blue Light and Melatonin Suppression

It is well established that short-wavelength or “blue” light is the most melatonin-suppressive; this is the type of light typically emitted by devices such as televisions, computer screens, and cellphones. (14, 15) To produce white light, these electronic devices must emit light at short wavelengths, close to the peak sensitivity of melatonin suppression. (16) This means that products such as tablets, smartphones, and other devices with self-luminous electronic displays are major sources for suppressing melatonin at night, thereby reducing sleep duration and disrupting sleep. (Figure credit: Wood et al, 2013)

Melatonin graph

Along with blue light emitted from electronic devices, research has shown that being exposed to normal levels of room lighting can have similar negative effects on melatonin. One study showed that one hour of moderately bright light exposure (1000 lux) was sufficient to suppress nocturnal melatonin to daytime levels. (17) Since melatonin suppression is intensity dependent, researchers suggest that lower intensities can have similar suppression effects at longer durations; for example, two hours at 500 lux would have a similar effect as one hour at 1000 lux. (For examples of lux values, check out this helpful chart.) This means that typical room light alone can have a similar suppressing effect on melatonin secretion as the light from backlit screens. (18)

How to Prevent Melatonin Disruption (Without Tossing Your iPhone)

Since it is predominantly the blue wavelength that is most affective in melatonin suppression, it stands to reason that blocking this wavelength of light should be enough to significantly reduce, or even eliminate the melatonin-suppressing effects of nighttime light exposure. (19) In fact, blocking blue light has been shown in several studies to be extremely effective in reducing the melatonin-suppressing effects of intense and/or blue light. (20, 21)

There are a few possible solutions for reducing your exposure to blue light at night. One that is commonly used in the ancestral health community is f.lux, a program that makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. This program can be installed on computers, iPads, and iPhones, and may have a significant effect on your melatonin secretion when using these devices at night. The best part about this program is that it turns on automatically in response to the daylight in your particular time zone, so there’s no need to remember any adjustments to the screen.

A better option, in my opinion, is to use amber-lensed goggles once the sun has gone down. These blue-blocking lenses are highly effective in reducing the effects of blue light exposure, and in most cases completely eliminate the short-wavelength radiation necessary for nocturnal melatonin suppression. (22, 23, 24) These goggles have been shown to improve sleep quality as well as mood, simply by blocking blue light and simulating physiologic darkness.

The main reason I recommend using these goggles is because normal room light alone is enough to suppress melatonin at night, and unless you’re shutting off all the lights in your house when the sun sets, you’re still at risk for disrupting your melatonin-driven circadian rhythms. (25) While f.lux is a useful tool for your backlit devices, it’s nearly impossible to address all sources of melatonin-suppressing light in today’s world of modern technology and late-night work and entertainment habits. Amber-colored goggles are one of the only tools available to completely eliminate all blue light exposure at night, without ‘going off the grid’ and powering down your entire house after 7 PM.

There are two excellent (and cheap!) options for amber-lensed goggles on Amazon. The cheapest and most popular option is the Uvex brand, but if you wear eyeglasses you’ll need to get a wraparound pair like the Solar Shield brand. I’ve had many patients swear by these goggles, and if you can get over the dorkiness factor, you may find they make a big difference in your sleep quality, and perhaps even your general health and wellbeing as well!

Have you ever used amber-lensed goggles, or f.lux, to improve your sleep quality? Share your experience in the comments below.

435 Comments

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  1. I did a cheap blue blocking screen for my pc using orange cellophane paper . I use 4 sheet for that. I tried red cellophane paper , but it doesn’t work very well. I tested using the Uvex S1933X Skyper glasses and the effect of colors on the screen
    are the same.

  2. Just a quick reminder… Whether you fall asleep or not, darkness is key to essential melatonin production– at least from the vantage point of your eyes. That is why a sleeping mask can be useful. If you can’t fall asleep, but are still quiet and comfortable in the dark, “rest assured” (pun intended 😉 that your body is still producing melatonin. The flip side of this clarification is that even though you might have slept a solid 8 hours, your body did NOT produce a healthy amount of melatonin if you slept with: a streetlight shining through your bedroom curtain, a hallway light shining into your room (unless it was a dim amber or dim red), a TV or computer screen on, etc. (unless you managed to keep your sleeping mask on throughout the night). Most of you on this forum know that lack of naturally produced melatonin may increase the risk of breast, colon, prostate, pancreatic cancers; some lymphomas; type 2 diabetes; obesity; heart disease; mental, mood, memory and sleeping disorders; interferes with the effectiveness of Tamoxifen, a breast cancer chemotherapy drug; and so much more. If you have a special interest in a particular disease, do an internet search for melatonin/ circadian disruption/ and plug in the name of the disease you are researching. Happy dreams everyone.

    • I love this information but my 17 year old son insists on proof… do you have any scientific paper links to this?

    • dozeslam, please dont spread quackery.
      “The flip side of this clarification is that even though you might have slept a solid 8 hours, your body did NOT produce a healthy amount of melatonin if you slept with: a streetlight shining through your bedroom curtain, a hallway light shining into your room (unless it was a dim amber or dim red), a TV or computer screen on, etc. (unless you managed to keep your sleeping mask on throughout the night).” most of street light have > 530 nm wavelengths and Kayumov et al. found that > 530 nm wavelengths do not supress melatonin even in bright light, also studies looking at night shift worker who were exposed to light greater than 540nm dont have lower melatonin.

      • “most of street light have > 530 nm wavelengths”

        If you mean streetlights have NO light BELOW 530nm, I think that’s completely wrong.

        Citation needed. I’ve checked a lot of sources in the past half hour and find no support for this claim at all. I wonder why you believe it and what source you rely on to say it.

        If you mean that most streetlights do have some light above 530nm, sure, that’s true. Doesn’t affect the problems caused by blue light at all.

        Possibly you’re confusing color temperature — you may be talking about “warm white” lights. Can’t blame you, that’s what my city’s light department asserted when they put in the white LED lights. Someone in the industry fooled them.

        You can look this stuff up for yourself:
        https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%22warm+white%22+LED+spectrum&iax=1&ia=images

          • I used to like watching the street light in front of my house turn on and warm up from red to yellow. This is the first I’ve seen sodium vapor street lights. It’s really confusing on roads with traffic lights but perfect for a residential neighborhood. I’m old enough that I’m guessing a lot of Americans have never seen them and the suburbs here make the city I lived in a suburb of look rural… And I’ve lived in places where I’ve helped neighbors catch a goat that escaped from one person’s yard. It took moving to a city to see these. Street lights have always been blue to me.

            That didn’t last long. When a delivery truck knocked over that light, we got a blue LED one. Gone are those relaxing evenings. The only thing that keeps it out is a few layers of black lawncare garbage bags. The thing makes my ears ring. The main roads are one thing but what is the reason residential streets need to be bright as day when the sun sets? There are more popping up. I don’t know where I saw it but I was looking at LED vs fluorescent and some of the white ones aren’t allowed near playgrounds they emit so much UV. I’ve seen some of the white ones and that would be even worse. Really, I have to wonder if this is natural selection getting rid of us…

            Be careful around those new lights you were cursed with – they’re so bad for you. May as well start wearing sunscreen and eye protection at night now.

            So long and thanks for all the fisj

            • “I saw it but I was looking at LED vs fluorescent and some of the white ones aren’t allowed near playgrounds they emit so much UV.” pls check what st…y you wrote fluorescent dont emit so much blue light(check studies which looking at this issue) second led emit virtualy 0 UV

  3. Subject: Circadian Rhythm Puzzle Pieces

    Currently this blog has many reports of Circadian improvements by clean light. Circadian is a direct connection to Melatonin, for which our world has several lab tests. Our AMA has a policy for this lighting issue, and we have lab tests showing specifically that Melatonin helps prevent breast cancer and more.

    That Circadian label is an opening. Health Insurance handles things by gambling and billing. They question your packs of cigs a week, or maybe cigar usage. Obama Care can charge up to 50% more for smokers, maybe that is based on your decades.

    Are you that night time employee and do you know the lighting sprayed?

    Do we need a devoted web blog?

  4. Yes, bought the blue-blocking goggles from Dr. Richard Hanslser of Lowbluelight.com. So far, yes, they have helped quite a bit, too pricey though.

  5. Do all amber glasses block blue light? Or do they have to be specially made? IOW, is the color of the lenses the key, or is there something else special to take into consideration? I wear safety glasses out in the sunlight when I do yard work, because polycarbonate lenses protect from UVA and B. They cost about $7 at WalMart, and they’re in the sports department (for shooting). They also come in amber/yellow, and I’m wondering if buying them in that color and wearing them in the evenings would block blue light?
    Whitney

    • Whitney,

      It’s not just the color. There is a certain type of lens tint that is made to filter Near UV-A blue light. The amber color itself is best for computer screens but you can get brown or grey that block blue light too.

      We also offer a lens with an anti-reflective coating made to filter Near UV-A and it has no tint at all. Both of the lens types we offer are polycarbonate which filters UV-A and UV-B.

      They are available as reading glasses or without magnification.

    • Yes, the $7 polycarbonate yellow/amber safety glasses work. Polycarbonate blocks ultraviolet; the yellow/amber tint blocks the blue light.

      These come in “light, medium, dark” tints — if the lightest tint doesn’t help you sleep, turn down or off the white lights!

      You can also find “NoIR” brand if you want to pay more.

      And try the Rosco theatrical/photography color film over the TV/computer/phone screen; that costs $7 for a 22×24″ piece at any good theatrical or photo store. “Roscolux #23 Orange” blocks a lot of the blue: https://www.rosco.com/images/filters/roscolux/23.jpg

      #19 “Fire” blocks it all: https://www.rosco.com/images/filters/roscolux/19.jpg

      #22 “Deep Amber” is close:
      https://www.rosco.com/images/filters/roscolux/22.jpg

      • I have DSPD and need verified blue light blocking glasses. I’ve been working with the folks at NOIR ( noirmedical.com ) and they’ve been willing to send me different lens / frame combos to try. The person for my area listens well and I got a surprise in my next box – a second pair with frames she picked out for me based on what didn’t work about the ones I’d tried. It’s the best so far. My head is between adult and kid sized so it’s difficult to get something that fits. If you absolutely need something that works and will be wearing them a lot (I have to wear mine in the morning too; it’s complicated), I think NOIR is totally worth the price and if you’re an individual consumer, they’ll work a little with you. The posted prices for some of their stuff is for wholesalers.

        I have 2 pairs of sunglasses nearly identical to the lens color I ended up with. One blocks the light that keeps me awake, the other doesn’t. I can tell by how I feel compared to the NOIR glasses.

        The lens colors are typically created by pigments and dyes in sunglasses and whatnot. There are a million different ways to make the same color since our eyes only detect a few colors and our brain makes the rest from those. Regular glasses or goggles may or may not work. If a lot of other people say it works, it may work for you. The wavelength we are most sensitive to is the average. You may fall at one end of the spectrum and find what works for most people doesn’t work for you. There are several companies that test their lenses against the full spectrum to ensure there are no “holes” above the cutoff threshold. I found NOIR and their customer service has kept me working with them and I haven’t tried any of the others. They’re expensive but right now (I plan on ending up with 2 pairs) I must have 6 pairs of glasses from them looking for that second pair…. Just my opinion of the company.

      • I have put together a list of 10 different blue light filtering options (for computer work). Each alternative comes with a corresponding spectrogram or some reference as to how much blue light they might filter.

        http://wp.me/p52Uxd-8d

        I hope some of you find it useful!

        • After reading from your site that computer blue light cause retina damage I conclude that you are incompetent and dont read further. All symptom you describe its not caused by blue light but rather near work you get far more blue light from sunshine day than from electronic device.

      • Thanks for the info about the lighting gels, Hank! You just saved me a lot of money and aggravation. I’ve been wanting to put something over my TV for the longest time, but kept putting it off till they came out with blue blocking screens big enough. They cost quite a bit for the biggest size right now and it wouldn’t be enough to cover my screen at any rate. Unfortunately, the store closest to me only had the orange, but since I already darken my screen a great deal at night and always wear blue blockers after sunset, it should help a lot–thanks again 🙂

  6. I’ve used f.lux and it is wonderful, especially for my phone when I want to read Chris’ articles late at night :). I have a nagging feeling this is at the root of my lagging energy and endless hunger since I do unconsciously look at screens late at night and seem to wake easily in the night. I may try the amber glasses but I also have a lens put into my light prescription glasses that filters out blue light. This is a brilliant article and at the root of so many health issues for our modern age, I bet. Now we just need to make all screens without this blue wavelength and we’ll be good!

  7. Hey, I also have this question about the link between artificial light and sleep. I have installed F.lux on my computer and Eye Care (Android app) on my smartphone already. And I have also got a pair of blue light blocking goggles from T’aime optics (http://www.taimeopt.com). I was able to try out the glasses for a couple nights so far, including in the dark. They really lessened the pain/strain in my eyes, as the lenses turned the screen from a harsh light to a warm easy light. And still in test whether they can improve my sleep.
    Another important thing, try to leave your digital devices now.

  8. I’ve been reading comments here. The problem as set out in various articles is that blue-light emitting light sources — computer screens, TV, and even house lighting — destroy a person’s melatonin, which negatively affects a persons ability to sleep. Almost everyone responding here has bought glasses, computer screens, overnight goggles. etc. The general comment is “they work just fine.” I don’t understand what that means. It’s too vague. What I would like to know is, how has it affected your sleep? Do you sleep longer (how many hours), is the sleep more restful (less tossing and turning, fewer nightmares/dreams, etc)? After reading the comments, I have no idea whether all these gadgets bring about better longer sleep. Please, fill us in. Give us some measurables. Thank you.

    • Hi Jean,

      I wear blue blocking glasses and put them on around 8 – 8:30 at night. I may watch some TV – but I still try to stay away from using my computer or checking my iphone. I am falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer – sleeping 7 to 8 hours. However, I have also made many lifestyle changes – exercising more, changed jobs, now work from home with no 2 hour commutes, getting outside, and I take vitamins and supplements that help with keeping me calm – magnesium, vitamin B’s, liquid minerals, 5-htp, and L-tyrosine. I believe it’s the combination of all these things that has restored my sleep.

    • Hey Jean, I have not used the other products, I only use the blue light screen protectors from http://bluelightshield.com/ for my Kindle and Smartphone.

      Although I am not a scientist, so I cannot give you exact data information, this is my personal experience:

      1) I don’t wake up 4-5 times at night. I actually sleep almost through the entire night. At most, I wake once. Where, before using these blue light blockers, I would literally roll on my bed for hours on end before falling asleep.

      2) My eyes do not strain as much. The biggest problem I had is that I am a writer, so after staring at the computer for a while, my eyes would literally hurt. I had to constantly use the dry eye drops, otherwise I just could not write anymore. Even though I still use the dry eye drops, I only use them in the morning before work.

      3) I am able to sustain a normal work schedule. Before I got my sleeping patterns under control, I no longer have the need to take a nap during the day to keep going. This was a huge problem before because I got so little sleep at night.

      I hope this helps. No scientific data, but true personal experience.

      🙂

    • Hi Jean, Melatonin is essential. It is likely that a sleep lab would measure a healthier natural production of melatonin levels for the individual who sleeps in a very dark room and limits/eliminates exposure to blue light at night about an hour before sleeping. This has long term health consequences. Short term reports I’ve received from my friends and family include:
      • teenagers- who said they can focus better in school and get better grades in their testing.
      • 50s age bracket- waking feeling rested, clear-headed, happy and energetic.
      That being said, there are a few related essential components to remember.
      • 7-8 hours sleep goal for the adult;
      • Regular sleep schedule. (Keep in mind that your body can produce melatonin even if you’re awake– so long as you are quiet in a dark environment or wearing a sleeping mask.)
      • Bright morning sunshine– rich in the blue wavelengths– is as essential to a healthy circadian as is sleeping in dark-dark environment.
      • Remember to use dim amber or dim red night lights where needed like the bathroom & hallway, placing them as low to the ground as possible instead of at eye level.

    • What happened for me was this:

      I go to bed at midnight. Without the glasses, it takes me about an hour to fall asleep, sometimes more. When I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I can toss and turn for another hour or so before falling asleep again. If I wake up closer to 7am, I pretty much can’t fall asleep again, and then I’m groggy and achy for the rest of the day. If I can, by some miracle, fall asleep, I sleep until 11am – meaning, 11 hours spent in bed, and maybe about 7-8 hours spent asleep. I need 9 hours to feel good, so I was pretty much always groggy and miserable. On days that I could not sleep in until 11am, I was really miserable, but even if I could sleep in like that, it still didn’t make a difference in my mood and energy levels.

      When I started wearing the glasses and the sleep mask, I started falling asleep much faster. It would take me a few minutes instead of an hour. When I wake up at night to go to the bathroom (and I’m very careful about wearing my red glasses to do so), I fall asleep again in minutes. These days, I go to bed at midnight and wake up at 9, refreshed and well-rested.

      So yeah, this blue-light trick was a life-saver for me. I appear to be unusually light-sensitive – the friends and family to whom I’ve evangelized about it haven’t had such a dramatic change – but there it is.

  9. So my dad recently installed Bright White light bulbs around the house to replace the more yellow toned “Soft White” lights. The Bright Whites are a much brighter white/blue tinted light. They are the same 14 Watts. Do the differences of these light bulbs make a big difference?There are actually many restless people in my home. .

    • > my dad … bright white
      Incandescent, or fluorescent, or LED?

      Yes, older people need brighter light, and the lens of the eye gets yellow with age so they get less blue light to the retina. That explains all the elderly women with “blue hair” — to them it looks bright white; shampoos use optical brighteners to make that effect.

      If people in the home want to test whether this interferes with sleep, test by switching all the “white” off about 8pm.

      For the test use whatever’s handy after 8pm until bedtime.

      — cheap yellow lights (compact fluorescent “bug light” will do, though they’re _very_ yellow; or

      — GE “Post Light Bug Light” CFLs which have a less obnoxious but still effective yellow filter — or

      — amber LEDs which you can find as “turtle safe light” — or

      — auto supply store cheap 12-volt amber LED lights — or

      — plain incandescent bulbs with the amber color coating (the 15 or 25 watt ones work great inside older refrigerators to replace the white bulbs the same size so you don’t ruin the sleep-safe lighting by opening the fridge at night).

      See if it makes a difference.
      Your mileage may vary, as they say.

      You can spend a whole lot of money, or not.

      More at: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/03/12/light-and-dark/

    • Yes John. The spectrum of light makes all the difference in the world. Blue-rich light is appropriate to help keep people alert. Use it in the home, school and office during the daytime –if a sunny window is not an option. Use it in the breakroom and office for the late shift worker who needs to keep alert at night. (In the case of hospital workers, care should be taken that the blue-rich light does NOT stream into the patients’ rooms, and also the monitors in the patient’s rooms ought to be covered with a blue-blocking film.) Blue-rich bright white is not appropriate for use at night — especially within a couple hours before bedtime– in a typical home setting with children and adults seeking normal sleeping hours. If your dad seems to have a craving for blue light, the first essential step is to ensure he’s getting a healthy amount of blue sunshine type light in the morning. Blue light during the day, especially the morning, is essential for healthy circadian rhythmicity.

  10. Just so you know, I am a licensed optician with over 28 years experience. Over the past 5 years my wife and I have been developing solutions related to blue light problems and reading solutions. We have come up with several great ways to solve these issues as long as you don’t mind wearing glasses.

    We custom craft our eyewear for folks that either:
    Don’t require correction.
    Need reading powers.
    Need prescription lenses.

    Our products start at $59 with these solutions.

    1. Our Mojo BluBlock AR Coating is an anti-reflective coating that filters the bad part of the blue light spectrum, Near UV-A and UV-A and B (UV400). It also reduces reflected glare.

    2. Our Mojo BluBlock Tints are available as options on many of our products. These are available in 3 colors, Amber, Brown, and Grey. All 3 tints filter all of the Near UV-A, and UV-A and B (UV400), and each color provides different features.

    Mojo BluBlock Amber- 15% depth for indoor, nighttime use is recommended. 30% works well for nighttime and daytime computer use. 45 to 60% tint depths are for outdoor use.

    Mojo BluBlock Brown- 15% depth for indoor, nighttime use is good but does not offer the same level of contrast that the amber color does. 30% works great for daytime computer use. 45 to 60% tint depths are for outdoor use.

    Mojo BluBlock Grey- 15% or 30% for indoor daytime use if you are light sensitive. 45 to 60% tint depths are for outdoor use.

    The feedback we have received from our customers has been exceedingly positive. Please check us out. We are a mom and pop shop and do not advertise much. Your feed back would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    • I suggest you also add red tints that block both blue and green. Some folks (myself included) are sensitive to “green” frequencies as well as “blue” ones. I wear red laser-safety goggles from NoIR that block any frequency below 550.

  11. Just a quick reminder… Whether you fall asleep or not, darkness is key to essential melatonin production– at least from the vantage point of your eyes. That is why a sleeping mask can be useful. If you can’t fall asleep, but are still quiet and comfortable in the dark, “rest assured” (pun intended 😉 that your body is still producing melatonin. The flip side of this clarification is that even though you might have slept a solid 8 hours, your body did NOT produce a healthy amount of melatonin if you slept with: a streetlight shining through your bedroom curtain, a hallway light shining into your room (unless it was a dim amber or dim red), a TV or computer screen on, etc. (unless you managed to keep your sleeping mask on throughout the night). Most of you on this forum know that lack of naturally produced melatonin may increase the risk of breast, colon, prostate, pancreatic cancers; some lymphomas; type 2 diabetes; obesity; heart disease; mental, mood, memory and sleeping disorders; interferes with the effectiveness of Tamoxifen, a breast cancer chemotherapy drug; and so much more. If you have a special interest in a particular disease, do an internet search for melatonin/ circadian disruption/ and plug in the name of the disease you are researching. Happy dreams everyone.

  12. I use red instead of orange goggles – they work much better. Mine are expensive laser-safety glasses from noirlaser.com (the KRY filter) – pricey but worth every penny. I have tried a few other types and they still let some blue/green light through and my sleep was worse.

  13. I’m awaiting delivery of a pair of Uvex goggles; meanwhile, I’m wondering about my getting ready for bed routine: the first thing I do is take off my makeup. Obviously, I can’t do this in near darkness or without taking off the goggles. So if I wear the gogs for, say, 2 hours before preparing for bed, will any benefit from them be negated by taking them off while getting ready for bed in a brightly-lit bathroom? (I’m generally in the bathroom for about 10 mins.) Please don’t tell me I have to remove my makeup by candlelight …

    • Hi Laura, We use amber night lights in the bathroom, hallway and bedrooms at night. This is best practice to minimize circadian disruption. I purchased them from lowbluelights-dot-com. I do not recommend using bright lights in the bathroom at night.

    • When I wash my face at night, before I take off my amber glasses I turn off the bathroom light; I can see well enough to do what I need to by the light of the hallway or another nearby room. Works for me!

  14. UPDATE: Ok, so I received the blue light screen protector for my Kindle from the folks at http://bluelightshield.com/ I have been using it for just about a week now and I have to say I really like it. I think the biggest difference I noticed is that I can read for longer periods of time, without my eyes getting tired or fuzzy. So my conclusion is that somehow these blue light filters really work.

  15. I have recently introduced many blue block options for folks that need reading glasses (or no power) on my site, readingglassesetc.com.
    I offer custom crafted readers with options like blue block tints and blue block anti-reflective coating.
    I know this is “ad-like” but we are the first and only site offering these solutions.

  16. This is so true ““blue light is the most melatonin-suppressive”! I use the computer a lot, and I had no idea my sleeping problems were caused by the blue light emanated from my computer. I recently bought a blue light screen protector from http://bluelightshield.com and so far it seems to be helping a lot. As a matter of fact I just bought another one for my kindle!

  17. Wow – just spent 2 hrs reading all the comments. Thanks to all of you. I was about to purchase an e-reader for my grandchild and had heard about some problems with the light-rays. I’m thinking the simplest thing I can do is purchase an amber sheet somewhere and put it over the screen? The child is only 9 yrs old and probably “glasses” won’t survive long. I was considering the Kindle Paperwhite. Books only, no Wi-Fi. The child loves to read books but travels a lot so an e-reader would be helpful. Or, where can I purchase a clip-on light that blocks out the blue? Name of product? I never knew there was this problem, so am grateful for the information.

    • No, do not get an amber sheet unless it’s not a touch screen. The sheets do not work with touch screens. Low Blue Lights sells an amber filter for ereaders, tablets, and phones, but it doesn’t work if you don’t have a glossy screen (a lot of the e-ink screens are matte. I wound up buying a beam ‘n’ read light, which works fairly well, though I think even the 3-bulb version is brighter than it needs to be.

    • Joyce, two models of the Beam n Read Hands Free Lights include filters (orange and red) that block blue light. Spectrum charts of the light with and without the filters can be found on http://www.ledmuseum.net. The lights are worn around the neck instead of clipping on a book so they work nicely with all reading matter including hardcovers, paperbacks, ereaders, and even newspapers. Also for tasks like quilting, knitting and crafts. The lights can be found on http://www.readinglight.com, Amazon, and many quilt shops. The 3 LED model is currently the #2 Top Rated book light on Amazon. Two product reviews you might find applicable: a Dec 8 review on the blog “Not Everyone’s Mama” includes comments from her 8 year old daughter (http://bit.ly/1DudQQq); and a Nov 10 review on Reading for Sanity (http://bit.ly/1tSfbbp) commented on her child’s use. My wife and I both read in bed using the filters. Disclosure: My dad invented the light and I work for his company. Email me if you have questions ([email protected]). There’s an 18 LED clip-on with amber LEDs on lowbluelights.com but I don’t know much about the light. I haven’t come across any other reading lights directly addressing this issue. However, there are some headlamps and clip-ons that have a red LED (typically just one) which could be another alternative.

        • Rudee… I’m a 55 year old woman that has suffered from insomnia and dry eye problem for years. I spent hundreds of dollars on new mattresses, window blinds, and other things that did now work. I had no idea the problem was my computer use. I am a writer, so as you can imagine this is a huge issue for me.

          I am in awe, that when I finally find something that actually works, people like you are more interested in trolling, than actually appreciating the fact that we want to share a solution, which without a doubt, hundreds out there suffer and don’t have a clue as of the why. You may want to think through next time before posting.

    • Hello Joyce, lowbluelights.com sells blue-blocking filters for many electronic devices. In my opinion, I believe all light emitting e-devices oughts to come standard with a removable blue-blocking film with the warning that using this device at night without the blue-blocking film can be harmful to your health.

    • Hi Joyce,

      I got my blue blocking films online from lowbluelights.com. I also purchased several amber night lights & blue-blocking goggles ( I gift them out) from the same place. I believe that the light emitting e-devices that are expected to be use at night, should come STANDARD with removable blue-blocking films… with a warning that using this device at night without the blue-blocking film could be hazardous to your health — and the health of others sharing the room with you.

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