Sleep is essential for our bodies to rest, repair and reenergize for the following day. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is also important to stay on a healthy track. However, it may be a challenge to maintain a good sleep balance, especially if when working at night. Whether you are a nurse, security guard, freelancer or customer service representative working at night, getting insufficient sleep during the day could be a result of prolonged blue light exposure emitted from your screen. Therefore, protecting your eyes with blue light filtering glasses will greatly benefit your overall health. These type of glasses protect against eye strain, blurry vision, headaches, migraines and disruption of sleep, which is known as Computer Vision Syndrome.
What is Blue Light?
Blue light is also known as high-energy visible blue light (HEV) that has high frequency and short wavelengths similar to UV light. There are two types of blue light, natural and artificial.
Differences Between Natural and Artificial Blue Light
Natural blue light comes from the sun, whereas artificial blue light comes from digital screens. These types of digital devices include smartphones, laptops, tablets and TVs. Although blue light is beneficial, it is important to carefully consider the amount of blue light you are exposed to and at what time of the day/ night that may be to avoid negative effects.
Benefits of Blue Light
The main benefits of natural blue light are that it helps boost alertness, uplifts mood and most importantly regulates the body's biological clock to determine wake and sleep cycles. The pineal gland which is located above the middle of the brain produces sleep-inducing melatonin a few hours before you go to bed. Melatonin makes falling asleep easier and helps increase sleep quality.
Negative Effects of Blue Light
Even though there are benefits to blue light, excess amount of blue light exposure can have damaging effects. Artificial blue light, which is what we experience the most on a daily basis while using our phones, laptops or TV screens, tricks the brain into believing that it is daytime even though it might be nighttime. This disrupts the body’s natural process as it prepares for sleep. The blue light causes the pineal gland to stop producing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. As a result, this lowers sleep quality and breaks a healthy sleep cycle.Lack of proper sleep makes waking up much more difficult and experience fatigue for most of the day. If not taken care of immediately, it can produce a series of downstream effects including an increase in obesity and depression.
The Right Kind of Eye Protection
Fortunately, blue light filtering glasses can help combat blue light on all digital devices without needing to make any changes to your current work conditions. The advanced technology of the lenses is designed to protect the eye from any discomfort so that you are able to stay focused and productive without feeling eye discomfort or headaches. The University of Toronto conducted a study where one group of people wore blue light filtering glasses while the other group did not during their night shift. The result, those individuals who did wear the blue light filtering glasses produced a higher level of melatonin than those who did not wear the glasses.
So to the bottom line?
Overall, there are many healthy alternatives to distress the body and better your sleep as a night shift worker. A common exercise is the 20-20-20 rule, in which every 20 minutes spent in front of a screen, you should take a 20-second break and look at an object 20 feet away. This gives the eyes a rest and helps from eye strain. Other simple techniques include changing the brightness of the screen or using apps that filter blue light. Sleeping early and limiting digital devices a few hours before bedtime is also recommended. But for maximum protection and prolonged eye comfort, blue light filtering glasses are an inexpensive way to maintain good eye health and regulate sleep and wake cycles.