Amber-tinted Glasses Recommended for Tech-savvy People with Insomnia
The use of light-emitting electronic devices, such as smartphones and laptops, in the hour before bed, are a habit that is hard to ditch. Even insomniacs have a hard time saying no to Facebook browsing and Netflix viewing. However, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center have found a good remedy to cut the adverse effects of evening ambient light exposure, while still allowing use of blue light-emitting devices. Thanks to the development of amber-tinted lenses!
According to the study, these amber tinted glasses can block blue light, thus mitigating the effects of light-emitting electronic devices and may provide relief for insomnia. The blue light suppresses melatonin and increases alertness.
The Columbia team was led by Ari Shechter, PhD, assistant professor of medical sciences.
The Study and Results!
To probe the efficacy of amber-tinted glasses on blocking blue light and its ability to improve sleep in people with insomnia, the researchers invited 14 individuals with an insomnia diagnosis to participate in the study.
For seven consecutive nights, participants wore wrap-around frames with amber-tinted lenses that blocked blue light or with clear placebo lenses for two hours before bedtime. Four weeks later, participants repeated the protocol with the other set of glasses.
Here are the interesting results!
The key finding showed that participants got around 30 minutes extra sleep when they wore the amber lenses compared to the clear lenses. In self-reported sleep surveys, participants also reported greater duration, quality, and soundness of sleep, and an overall reduction in insomnia severity.
Based on the results of the study, Shechter highly recommended the use of amber-tinted glasses to address the problem of insomnia.
Shechter said, “Amber lenses are affordable and they can easily be combined with other established cognitive and behavioral techniques for insomnia management.”
In addition, Shechter pointed out that adjusting screens to amber lighting mode or settings could help to improve sleep.
“I do recommend using the amber setting on smartphones at night, in addition to manually reducing the brightness levels. But blue light does not only come from our phones. It is emitted from televisions, computers, and importantly, from many light bulbs and other LED light sources that are increasingly used in our homes because they are energy-efficient and cost-effective,” he said.