Let’s face it, most of us spend the majority of our time staring into our computers, tablets, or cellphones but have you ever considered the damage that is doing to your eyes!? As someone who was constantly getting headaches, not sleeping well, and experiencing burning eyes, I started to wonder if staring at screens all day could be harming my eyes. Well, it turns out, it can be and for me, was! Since implementing a few changes, I have noticed a huge improvement so I am here to share in hopes that it can help someone else, too!
What Is Blue Light?
First, we must understand what “blue light” is and why and when it’s concerning because sometimes it’s really beneficial! All of our devices- TVs, LED lights, cell phones, computers, etc… emit blue light. Blue light also naturally exists during the day, however, when the sun sets and we continue to expose ourselves to this light, as you can imagine, this disrupts our natural Circadian Rythym which is when the problems can begin.
So, natural blue light during the day = good. Artificial blue light after sunset = not good.
Many people are also not exposing their eyes to natural lighting at all which is another issue. Always be sure to expose your bare eyes to natural light as avoiding this can have risks of its own. If you find yourself working inside all day and never taking a break outside, start stepping outside a few times a day to allow your eyes to soak up the beneficial blue light as it is also needed for a happy mood and quality sleep.
When the sun sets and the fake blue light comes out to play, that is when we need to protect our eyes. Besides disrupting the natural system that alerts us when to be awake and when to rest, blue light also suppresses melatonin production which is why you may be having trouble sleeping at night if you are overexposing yourself to this artificial light. Research, additionally, shows that disrupting our circadian rhythm can also contribute to cancer, heart diseases, and obesity which means we must protect ourselves as best we can.
My Daily Light Routine
- MORNING- As soon as I wake up, I walk outside and let my eyes adjust to the natural sunrise. This is really important, even if it is cloudy. Looking through the window is not enough so step outside and watch the sunrise or at least let the morning light enter your eyes! Never look directly at the sun, simply just look around and soak up the light. This tells your body hey, it is time to wake up and start the day.
- NOON- During the day, I take breaks outside to let my eyes soak up natural light. This is why wearing sunglasses 24/7 is not ideal, your eyes never get the beneficial, natural light! Let some in. While I am working inside on a computer, I always wear Blue Blocking daytime computer glasses.
- SUNSET- Check your location for when the sun will set and try to be outside to watch it. Look at all of the colors and let the light signal to your body that it is time to wind down. Once you absorb all of this good, natural light, I head inside and put on my Blue Blocking nighttime glasses. Now is the critical time to protect my eyes from all of the fake light in my home. I never ever look at my phone or watch TV, after sunset, without these on. If I do, I notice a huge difference
Other Tips to Reduce Blue Light
- Use only candles after sunset.
- Use apps like f.lux on your computer or drastically reduce the brightness.
- Before bed, avoid phones, tablets, TVs and if you do, always wear your Blue Blocking glasses while doing so.
- When using your devices, always wear your Blue Blocking daytime glasses.
- Avoid fluorescent and LED lighting. Old fashioned incandescent light is much better for our eyes.
- If you work the night shift, you also want to wear Blue Blocking glasses during this time.
- Expose your bare eyes to natural, bright light, various times throughout the day.
Which Brand of Blue Blockers is Best?
If you go online, you will very easily find a TON of blue-blocking glasses but the type you get, as you can imagine, really matter. You do not want a cheap pair, you want a pair that are backed by science. My doctor suggested that I get the Swanick brand as they block 99% of blue light. To learn more about the science behind this brand, click here.
I wanted a larger frame to ensure my eyes were protected well so I got the Oxford Night Swannies in Gold! An independent study showed that these resulted in significantly improved sleep, including an average of 33% increased sleepiness at bedtime, 11 minutes less time to fall asleep and 24 minutes reduced time awake during the night.
During the day, I always wear light-reflecting computer glasses also to protect my eyes from digital eye strain and eye fatigue. This same brand makes a ton of cute styles, I also have the Oxford Day Swannies! I really love this frame because it is SO lightweight and comfy. Very happy with it.
These blue light blocking glasses, because they are some of the best you can find, are more expensive than those you can find on Amazon but for me, this is one thing I don’t want to skimp on. The brand did go ahead and set up an affiliate code for you all though so you can now pick out your very own pair and use code ORGANICBUNNY at checkout to save some $$!