How Blocking Blue Light at Night Helps You Sleep Better

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Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Are you constantly tossing and turning, unable to get the restful sleep you need? If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with sleep issues, and there are a variety of factors that can contribute to this problem. One factor that you may not have considered is blue light exposure.

Blue light is a type of light that is emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. While this type of light can be helpful during the day by increasing alertness and improving mood, it can have negative effects on your sleep when you’re exposed to it at night. This is because blue light can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that is essential for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. When your melatonin levels are disrupted, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Understanding Blue Light

What Is Blue Light?

Blue light is a type of visible light with a short wavelength that is emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. It is also present in sunlight and LED lights. Blue light is known to suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles.

Sources of Blue Light

As mentioned, blue light is emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. It is also present in LED lights, which are commonly used for indoor lighting. In addition, blue light is present in sunlight, particularly during the daytime.

To reduce your exposure to blue light, you can try using blue light blocking glasses or screen filters. These can help to filter out blue light and reduce the negative effects on your sleep. Additionally, you can limit your exposure to electronic devices before bedtime and make sure to turn off all screens at least an hour before going to sleep.

Understanding blue light and its sources is important for improving your sleep quality. By taking steps to reduce your exposure to blue light, you can improve your sleep and wake up feeling more rested and refreshed.

The Science of Sleep

Circadian Rhythms Explained

Your body has a natural internal clock called the circadian rhythm. This clock regulates a variety of physiological processes in your body, including your sleep-wake cycle. Your circadian rhythm is influenced by various factors, such as light exposure, meal times, and physical activity. It is particularly sensitive to light, which is why exposure to blue light at night can disrupt your sleep.

Melatonin and Sleep

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in your brain. It plays a crucial role in regulating your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin levels rise in the evening, making you feel drowsy and ready for sleep. They remain high throughout the night, helping you to stay asleep. In the morning, melatonin levels drop, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and alert.

Exposure to blue light at night can disrupt your body’s production of melatonin, making it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. This is because blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, tricking your body into thinking it’s still daytime. Blocking blue light at night can help to maintain your body’s natural production of melatonin, promoting better sleep.

Understanding the science of sleep and how it is influenced by light exposure and melatonin production is crucial for promoting healthy sleep habits. By blocking blue light at night, you can help regulate your circadian rhythm and promote better sleep.

Effects of Blue Light on Sleep

Blue Light and Circadian Disruption

Exposure to blue light at night can disrupt your circadian rhythm, the natural 24-hour cycle that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. This is because blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep. When you’re exposed to blue light in the evening, your brain thinks it’s still daytime and delays the release of melatonin, making it harder for you to fall asleep at night.

The disruption of your circadian rhythm can have several negative effects on your health, including an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and depression. It can also lead to daytime sleepiness and decreased productivity.

Research Findings on Blue Light Exposure

Research has shown that exposure to blue light at night can have a significant impact on your sleep quality and quantity. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that exposure to blue light before bedtime reduced the amount of deep sleep participants got by about 16%. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that exposure to blue light at night decreased melatonin production by about 50%.

Fortunately, there are several ways to block blue light at night and improve your sleep. One option is to wear blue light blocking glasses, which filter out blue light and allow your body to produce melatonin naturally. Another option is to use blue light blocking software on your electronic devices, which reduces the amount of blue light emitted by your screen.

By reducing your exposure to blue light at night, you can improve your sleep quality and quantity, which can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being.

Using Blue Light Blocking Glasses

If you’re looking to reduce your exposure to blue light in the evenings, blue light blocking glasses may be a great option for you. These glasses have lenses that are specially designed to filter out blue light, which can help improve your sleep quality.

When you wear blue light blocking glasses in the evening, you may notice that you feel more relaxed and sleepy as bedtime approaches. This is because blue light can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle.

Blue light blocking glasses come in a variety of styles and tints, so you can choose the one that works best for you. Some glasses have a yellow or orange tint, while others have clear lenses with a special coating that blocks blue light.

If you’re interested in trying blue light blocking glasses, be sure to look for a reputable brand that uses high-quality lenses. You can also talk to your eye doctor to get recommendations for the best blue light blocking glasses for your needs.

Other Practical Tips for Reducing Blue Light

Using Blue Light Filters

One of the easiest ways to reduce your exposure to blue light is to use blue light filters on your electronic devices. You can install software or apps that automatically adjust the color temperature of your screen based on the time of day. This will help reduce the amount of blue light emitted by your device, making it easier for your body to produce melatonin and fall asleep.

Adopting Healthier Screen Habits

Another way to reduce your exposure to blue light is to adopt healthier screen habits. This includes taking frequent breaks from your electronic devices, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. You should also avoid using electronic devices in the dark, as this can increase the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to.

Creating a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Creating a sleep-friendly environment can also help reduce your exposure to blue light. This includes using dimmer lighting in your bedroom and avoiding bright lights before bedtime. You can also invest in blackout curtains or blinds to block out any external sources of light that may disrupt your sleep. Additionally, you can try using a red or amber-colored night light, as these colors have been shown to have less of an impact on melatonin production than blue or white light.

Alternatives to Blue Light at Night

If you’re not comfortable with wearing blue light-blocking glasses or using apps to reduce blue light, there are still some alternatives to consider. Here are a few options:

  • Dim your devices: Simply dimming the brightness of your electronic devices can help reduce the amount of blue light emitted. Most devices have a built-in night mode that automatically adjusts the brightness and color temperature of the screen based on the time of day.
  • Use red or yellow lights: Red and yellow lights have longer wavelengths and are less likely to disrupt your sleep than blue light. You can use red or yellow light bulbs in your bedroom, or switch to red or yellow night lights.
  • Read a book: Instead of scrolling through your phone or tablet before bed, try reading a physical book. This will not only reduce your exposure to blue light, but it can also help you relax and unwind before sleep.
  • Use blackout curtains: If you live in an area with streetlights or other sources of light pollution, consider using blackout curtains to block out as much light as possible. This can help create a more conducive sleep environment.

By making these simple changes, you can reduce your exposure to blue light at night and improve the quality of your sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can wearing blue light blocking glasses improve sleep quality?

Yes, wearing blue light blocking glasses can improve sleep quality. Blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. By blocking blue light, these glasses can help your body produce more melatonin, leading to better sleep.

Is there any truth to the blue light sleep myth?

Yes, there is truth to the blue light sleep myth. Blue light, which is emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, can disrupt your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Exposure to blue light before bedtime can suppress melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Are there any health risks associated with blue light exposure at night?

Yes, there are health risks associated with blue light exposure at night. Exposure to blue light at night can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle, leading to sleep deprivation and other health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and depression.

How do blue light filters aid in getting better sleep?

Blue light filters aid in getting better sleep by blocking the blue light emitted by electronic devices. By reducing blue light exposure, these filters can help your body produce more melatonin, leading to better sleep.

What impact does blue light have on the brain before bedtime?

Blue light has a significant impact on the brain before bedtime. Exposure to blue light before bedtime can suppress melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. This can lead to sleep deprivation and other health problems.

How much time before bed should I reduce blue light exposure for better sleep?

To reduce blue light exposure before bed, it is recommended to limit electronic device use for at least one to two hours before bedtime. This can help your body produce more melatonin, leading to better sleep.

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