I’m guilty: every night before bed I check Instagram one last time and read The New York Times’ summed up nightly, so I’m up to date on mundane topics other than the “Top Ten Fashion Trends for 2019”. On average, I record about three hours of screen time with my phone daily (ironically, my iPhone itself tells me that) and that doesn’t include the 10 hours I spend staring at my computer at the office. The inevitable result: minor headaches, eye strain and, occasionally, sleepless nights.
My solution to digital eye strain was to take off my contact lenses as soon as I got home and switch to my glasses, which helped me tremendously, and not looking at my phone 30 minutes before bed. . The latter was more difficult to put into practice. I was fine to go on like this, looking at the emails, possibly hurting my eyes in the process. Such is the life of a millennium. Then I heard about night glasses.
The premise: Wear the specs while going about your nighttime digital activities and you’ll have a better night’s sleep. The lenses apparently block blue light – which is known to suppress your melatonin levels – thus causing insomnia. Less blue light equals more and better sleep.
I was intrigued.
While I don’t suffer from Major sleep problems, who couldn’t benefit from enhanced Zzzs? I thought it wasn’t worth it. I would test the glasses and document the results, if applicable. So began the two-week process.
I chose a pair of Felix Gray branded glasses, rectangular frames called Faraday in the color sazerac for $ 95. (It was difficult to decide which frame was right for my face, but I based it on my glasses from Warby Parker.) I chose an over-the-counter pair, although the company does offer some with prescriptions for $ 145, and I was hoping my pick wouldn’t look ugly on me.
Although I was eager to test the glasses, one question tormented me: What is the difference between these lenses that block blue light and night mode on our iPhones? The night shift, as you may remember, changes your screen color to warmer hues once it gets dark to promote better sleep. According to Felix Gray co-founder David Roger: “What the iPhone does is change the temperature of your screen to make it more comfortable because the contrast between a dark room and the bright light on your screen is less noticeable. But white light is the inclusion of red, green and blue light. This means that as long as there is white (or off-white), your screen produces blue light. Only a fully red screen can counteract the production of blue light.
So in a nutshell, the night shift doesn’t really help you sleep better at night; it’s just more pleasing to your eyes. A study by the Light Research Center confirms this. Yet, out of habit, I continued to activate the night shift even when I was wearing my night glasses. Double the eye protection, right?
My sleeping habits
While I waited for the glasses to ship, I tracked my sleep patterns. For a week I used the Pillow app (recommended by many articles) because it was free and easy to use. The app monitors your sleep throughout the night and in the morning gives you a breakdown of your sleep quality.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know that you can’t save stats in the free version. (Can you tell I’m not good with tech?) But I can report that I slept on average about seven hours a night and had no trouble falling asleep despite being on my phone or my computer at night. Learning from my mistake, I made sure to capture a sample of the stats for the week I wore my Faradays.
As you can see, January 28-29, it took me about 10 minutes to fall asleep and I slept a good 7 hours and 30 minutes. It was on par with my stats from the week before (you know, the week I wasn’t wearing the glasses).
Although I would like to say that I slept like a baby after trying on the glasses, it was not true for me. I did not see any noticeable change in the quality of my sleep with the glasses on or off. I dozed solidly all two weeks and fell asleep consistently over that 10 minute mark.
The only major change I have experienced is that wearing glasses has significantly reduced my headaches and dizziness. My testing week turned out to be very busy at work, of course, so I was working overtime at night to finish a story or respond to emails. Between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., I wore my night glasses. I was able to stay on my laptop much longer without feeling tired or overwhelmed from staring at a screen for 14 hours. The glasses calmed me down and it was calming to see things through a yellow tint. (It took me about a day to adjust to the tinted eyesight.)
My final verdict
In the end, am I happy to have a pair of night glasses? Yes. But are they a miracle cure? No. Because there are so many different factors that affect a person’s sleep pattern, from stress at work to the environment (wearing eyeglasses, and too many earplugs?), it’s unfair to say that one pair of glasses will fix everything. But if you are looking for a possible solution and have exhausted many other options, maybe it is time to invest in a pair of night glasses? I’m wearing mine right now, as I write that last sentence at 10:45 p.m. How do my eyes feel? Great.
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