Michael Nagle and Eri Gentry are bringing you the first group sleep study at Genomera, looking at the effect of blue-light blocking (aka “orange” or “amber-tinted”) glasses on sleep!
Blue light and sleep
We were inspired by a talk at the Quantified Self Boston meetup – “The Science of Sleep” – in which Sanjiv Shah immensely improved his sleep by wearing blue-light blocking glasses several hours before his bedtime. Using the Zeo, a small EEG headband worn during sleep, he was able to show that his average time to fall asleep without the glasses was 28 minutes, while his average time to sleep using the glasses was 4 minutes. What’s more, his deep sleep increased from about 60 minutes to 85 minutes with the glasses!
Research suggests that these glasses improve sleep by advancing circadian rhythm. Humans don’t produce melatonin, a hormone related to sleep, until darkness sets in. In this modern age, a host of electronics replace darkness with stimulating lights and images, delaying the onset of melatonin production. These glasses may function to improve sleep – as well as mood – by blocking blue light, which tells our bodies to begin producing melatonin, allowing for a more natural bedtime, even with continued nighttime electronics usage.
A group sleep study using the Zeo
“Orange you sleepy?” is an open group study during which participants will track their sleep using the Zeo for three weeks.
- During Week 1, participants will track sleep – with no other interventions.
- During Week 2, they will wear blue-light blocking glasses and continue to track sleep.
- During Week 3, participants will track sleep with no interventions.
Where to get blue-light blocking or “orange” glasses
These can cost from $5 to more than $100. See google shopping results for a general, confusing overview. What to look for: (1) that the glasses do, indeed, block blue light. Look for the terms “blue blocker” or the name brand “BluBlocker” and (2) glasses that block as much light as possible — that is, glasses with maximum eye coverage and as little gap as possible in between your skin, like these $4 wraparound glasses available on eBay or these $40 StarShield glasses on Amazon.
Where to get a Zeo
Check out Zeo here and click through to product page to buy.