What is blue light?
Blue light is a frequency of light that is found both naturally and artificially.
Blue light from the sun is essential in regulating your sleep/wake cycles and your body clock. Blue light has also been shown to improve alertness, reaction times and create a sense of wellness. Blue light from the sun is essential. Blue light from the sun is also accompanied by all the other colours from the light spectrum, making it a balanced and healthy light source. In winter months when the sun does not come out we can suffer from Season Affective Disorder (S.A.D) which lowers mood and heightens feelings of depression and anxiety.
Artificial blue light on the other hand, causes damage to the cells in our eyes which during the day can lead to digital eyestrain, headaches and low mood.
Artificial blue light after sunset tricks our brains into thinking its daytime which then suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin which disrupts our sleep.
Our circadian rhythms, or body clocks, and sleep/wake cycles are entrained by blue light. In the morning when we see blue light from the rising sun it tells our body clock that it is day time and to make us feel alert and awake. When the sun sets the absence of blue light tells our brains its night-time which then helps us sleep better. Harvard Health has shown that exposing ourselves to blue light after dark from smart phones, house lights and TVs turns off melatonin production and disrupts our sleep.
Should You Wear Blue Light Glasses All Day?
Blue light glasses should be worn at all times during the day when inside and exposed to artificial blue light. If you work in an office and you use a computer, smart phone or have office lights on then you should wear blue light glasses all day. These glasses are often called computer glasses and have a clear lens.
As we mentioned before, our sleep/wake cycles and body clocks are entrained by sunlight, so it makes sense to suggest that during the day our body clocks need lots of natural light from the sun. Therefore, when we ask, should you wear blue light glasses all day the answer is actually no. When you go outside you should remove your blue light glasses as you do not want to alter the frequencies of light passing through your eyes as this will also disrupt your circadian rhythms and hormones. Its best to take them completely off when outside but keep them on when inside, under artificial light.
If you are inside with no artificial blue light then you do not have to wear blue light glasses. Remember, blue light from the sun is good for you so you do not want to filter it. Blue light from artificial sources is not good and you want to filter it during the day. For example, if you are sat by a window with lots of natural light reading your book and not using digital devices then you do not have to wear your blue light glasses.
In summary to the question should you wear blue light glasses all day:
Yes, if you are inside and exposed to artificial blue light.
No, if you are outside or inside with no exposure to artificial blue light.
Should I wear blue light glasses all day? – The Evening
We know from Harvard Health that exposure to blue light after dark from digital devices, TVs, fridge lights, house lights and appliances is disrupting our sleep and making us sick. Blue light works differently on the biological system after dark. It actually tricks our brains into thinking its daytime which disrupts our sleep cycles, making us sick, anxious and may be more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
It is therefore essential to wear a red or amber lens that blocks 100% of blue and green light between 400nm and 550nm to get the best quality sleep. These lenses can also help relax the eyes when working on the computer or watching TV of an evening.
You should not take your blue light blocking glasses off after sunset, the amber or red ones, because the artificial blue light will send a message to the brain its daytime which will destroy your sleep. It’s important to not wear clear lens computer glasses after sunset as this will not help your sleep improve, it’s important to invest in two pairs. One to wear during the day like BluLite Computer Glasses and an evening pair like Sleep+ blue light blocking glasses.
Artificial blue light is damaging your eyes during the day and disrupting your sleep after dark. Our light needs change throughout the day so it’s essential to have a clear pair of computer glasses for when we are exposed to artificial light during the day and a red/amber pair to switch two after sunset to help with optimising sleep.
Blue light glasses should not be worn all day, only when under artificial light and should be removed when outside to help with circadian entrainment and optimal sleep/wake cycles.
So, in answer to the question “Should I wear blue light glasses all day? The answer is no!