Most of us are on our devices all the time. I mean all the time. And trust me, I’m not holier than thou … I track my screen time (and social media time) each week as part of my weekly goal tracking, and I’m too embarrassed to even write the totals here, even though I’ve improved significantly.
And while most of us instinctively know that social media can be a comparison trap, and that scrolling through mindlessly can be an energy drain and productivity killer … did you know that the light coming out of your phone (or computer, or TV, or iPad) can significantly inhibit your quality of sleep?
How does blue light impact our health?
The blue light that comes out of screens messes up our circadian rhythm and makes it harder to fall into a deep sleep. This is because blue light (which is naturally found in sunlight as part of a broader spectrum of light) suppresses melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces naturally when it’s time to go to sleep. But without that melatonin, we take longer to fall asleep, sleep less deeply, and wake up less rested. Not good in a society that already struggles to get enough sleep!
(Side note: nice try, but the answer is not just popping a melatonin pill each night. Supplemental melatonin can be habit forming and can further inhibit your circadian rhythm if taken regularly. So, I recommend it only if you’re crossing time zones or really struggling with sleep on occasion. On a regular basis, I recommend magnesium – the l-threonate variety like this one in particular – which is far better for your overall health and can relax your mind and improve sleep quality without the detrimental impacts of melatonin.)
Not sleeping well doesn’t feel great, and makes us moodier and less productive the next day. But low quality sleep is also tied to issues as serious as weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Sleep is serious business, and it pays to prioritize it.
My experience with blue light blocking glasses
Personally, I’ve never really had an issue falling asleep. I do have major issues with waking up in the middle of the night with my mind racing (the magnesium mentioned above, taking 20 minutes to unwind before bed, and my regular meditation practice have helped this). And I always used to struggle with waking up feeling like I had hardly slept. I had heard about blue light blocking glasses, but frankly, it seemed a bit hokey to me, so I stayed away for a while.
When I did start wearing blue light blocking glasses in the hour before bedtime, though, my sleep quality (as measured by both my Fitbit – I love this one! – and my Oura ring) improved dramatically. My percentages of deep sleep skyrocketed immediately – literally the night I started wearing the glasses – and they continue to stay in a healthy range each night I wear the glasses.
Here are my recommendations!
It’s a simple switch – you just have to remember to pop them on – but I promise, the benefits are huge. There are numerous varieties available, but here are a few I would recommend:
- Ocushield: medical grade devices including blue-light blocking glasses and shields for your phone or computer. Use code Megan20 for 20% off!
- Pricier option: Dave Asprey’s company, TrueDark, was one of the pioneers in the blue light space. For about $90, they’re a bit pricier, and I think they look a little scarier!
- Lowest cost option: The ones I started out with might not be the best of the best, but like I said above, they are a great next step! If you’re looking to spend less than $20, these do the trick for me! Plus, they won’t scare away my husband or my dogs 😊
Now it’s your turn … Do you spend time on devices right before bed? Ever tried blue light blocking glasses?