Tags: amber-colored | glasses | insomnia | relief | circadian rhythm

Can Amber-Colored Glasses Provide Insomnia Relief?

Can Amber-Colored Glasses Provide Insomnia Relief?
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By    |   Monday, 18 December 2017 03:26 PM

Do your nighttime media habits keep you from sleeping? According to many studies, the blue light that many modern devices emit, including smartphones and laptops, can keep you from getting a good night's sleep.

The main reason is that blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the body's circadian rhythm — the cycle of waking and sleeping.

Because 90 percent of Americans use the light-emitting electronic devices in the hour before bed — and will probably continue to do so — researchers from Columbia University Medical Center tested a method to reduce their adverse effects, while still allowing people to use their devices that emit blue light.

Since amber-tinted lenses block blue light, the researchers believed that selectively blocking blue light in the hours before bedtime would lead to improved sleep in individuals with insomnia.

They recruited 14 individuals who had been diagnosed with insomnia diagnosis. For seven consecutive nights, participants wore either wrap-around frames with amber-tinted lenses that blocked blue light or clear placebo lenses for two hours before bedtime. Four weeks later, participants switched and wore the other set of glasses.

The researchers found that participants got around 30 minutes extra sleep when they wore the amber lenses compared to the clear lenses. In their self-evaluation, participants also reported greater duration, quality, and soundness of sleep, and an overall reduction in the severity of their insomnia.

"Now more than ever we are exposing ourselves to high amounts of blue light before bedtime, which may contribute to or exacerbate sleep problems," said researcher Ari Shechter. "Amber lenses are affordable and they can easily be combined with other established cognitive and behavioral techniques for insomnia management."

Many smartphone screens can now be adjusted to emit amber instead of blue light, and Shechter said these settings should help to improve sleep.

"I do recommend using the amber setting on smartphones at night, in addition to manually reducing the brightness levels," he said. "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."

"The glasses approach allows us to filter out blue-wavelength light from all these sources, which might be particularly useful for individuals with sleep difficulties."

The amber lenses also appeared to reduce blood pressure in the study's participants.

The study will be published in the January issue of Journal of Psychiatric Research.

According to Consumer Reports, more than a quarter of Americans say they have trouble either going to sleep or staying asleep most nights, and 68 percent of adults have problems sleeping at least once a week.

Another recent study found that drinking tart cherry juice can help insomniacs sleep longer. A study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics found that compared to a placebo, Montmorency tart cherry juice was found to extend sleep time by 84 minutes.

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Do your nighttime media habits keep you from sleeping? According to many studies, the blue light that many modern devices emit, including smartphones and laptops, can keep you from getting a good night's sleep.The main reason is that blue light suppresses the production of...
amber-colored, glasses, insomnia, relief, circadian rhythm
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2017-26-18
Monday, 18 December 2017 03:26 PM
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