Blue Blocking Glasses for Better Sleep and Less Depression

Blue Blocking Glasses for Better Sleep and Less Depression

Blue light therapy has long been used to successfully treat depressive symptoms associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. The blue light enabled the body to adjust to early winter darkness making the brain feel as if it were still day.

Now it turns out that by blocking blue light emitted from the variety of digital devices we are continually plugged into could be a beneficial application as well.

In a study of light therapy on mood disorders, researchers from the Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, published their work in the American Journal of Psychiatry which concluded that,

“This analysis of randomized, controlled trials suggests that bright light treatment and dawn simulation for seasonal affective disorder and bright light for nonseasonal depression are efficacious, with effect sizes equivalent to those in most antidepressant pharmacotherapy trials.”

Scientists have found that wearing specific colored glasses could be a significant tool in enhancing sleep while also being able to fight some symptoms of depression at the same time.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

You may be losing sleep on a regular basis that now you’re so tired of being tired you just reach for a sleeping pill to get relief. However, sleep that is lost could be a dangerous thing.

Lack of sleep has been linked to so many adverse health conditions including weight gain, skin breakouts, depression and even the possibility for developing dementia.

UK based Daily Mail reports that,

“Scientists found that the brain undergoes a ‘cleansing’ process while you sleep – clearing out Alzheimer’s toxins. Without enough sleep, the toxins can build up and damage the brain and cause Alzheimer’s.”

When you gaze at your television, computer or cell phone screen after the sun goes down your mind could be getting confused.

As the sun sets, your body’s natural clock begins to release brain chemicals, such as melatonin, to signal the body to prepare for sleep. However, the blue light from your devices has been shown to be powerful enough to trick the brain into thinking it is still daylight. As a result, melatonin is suppressed and the brain continues to surge as if it were still daytime.

Newsweek reports (7/26/16) that,

“Scientists have proposed that limiting exposure to blue light given off by electronics at night could help people sleep and help reset dysfunctional biological clocks, both of which are involved in disorders like manic depression.”

Throw Out Your Rose Colored Glasses

Seeing life through rose colored glasses is an old saying that suggests looking on the bright side. Well, the bright side may literally be through amber colored glasses, not rose.

A study at the University of Toledo, Ohio used amber colored glasses to block blue light. Chronobiology International published the study (12/09) which stated that,

“…evening use of amber lenses to block blue light might affect sleep quality. Mood is also affected by light and sleep; therefore, mood might be affected by blue light blockade…At the end of the study, the amber lens group experienced significant improvement in sleep quality relative to the control group…Mood also improved significantly relative to controls.”

Wearing amber colored glasses three hours before bed may be all you need to bring your brain back to it’s natural circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm cycle is an internal clock that kicks in according to outside influences. Taking a pharmaceutical pill changes chemical output synthetically but using light therapy through amber lenses allows the brain to readjust naturally.

Mind Blowing Results

As with many studies, results can be minimal or require years of adjustments to show any real improvement. Rarely is there an immediate, positive response with tangible evidence to immediately integrate into the mainstream. However, tests using amber colored glasses are not only getting high praise but there is no invasive risks meaning that anyone can safely try it.

Study results of blue-blocking tests have been so significant here are a few quotes from researchers and medical professionals alike.

“I was surprised by the magnitude of changes and the rapid onset of improvement,” – Tone Henriksen, lead study author University of Bergen and Valen Hospital in Norway.

These are “knock-your-socks off results,” – James Phelps, researcher and psychiatrist with Samaritan Health Services in Corvallis, Oregon

After only three nights of wearing the glasses three hours before bed more subjects responded with than twice what doctors consider to be a “clinically significant difference” and is a “remarkably high effect size,” according to a commentary accompanying the study, both of which were published in the journal Bipolar Disorders. – Newsweek

If you are having difficulty sleeping or struggle with minor depression why not give amber colored glasses a try. Slip them on three hours before bed and see if you don’t sleep sounder. It’s probably one of the easiest potential fixes to date.