How to combat blue-light fatigue

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Are you aware of all of the perils posed by blue light? The biggest danger may be to your sleep….

Occasionally, I have to work late. And, on some evenings, I like to unwind with an hour of television. At other times, I need to check my cellphone for emails or text messages just before bed.

What’s the problem with all of these actions? They can disrupt my sleep.

The problem is blue light — which is emitted by screens such as computers, televisions, iPads and cellphones. (Kindles, fortunately, don’t emit blue light or I’d be in trouble there, too.) This light messes with our circadian rhythms, making it difficult for us to fall asleep. Some researchers even think that too much exposure to this kind of light at nighttime can lead to increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Even if the health risks are overstated, experts advise us to stop using screens at least an hour before bed — ideally two to three hours before — to get an better night’s sleep. Yikes!

About six months ago, I’d heard rumours that some people were addressing this problem by wearing special “sun” glasses. I did some research on the Internet and went to local stores such as Best Buy and London Drugs, looking for a pair. Nothing! No one even understood what I was talking about.

Finally, I discovered a pair of orange glasses available on Amazon.ca. (The same glasses are also available on Amazon.com). My kids bought me a pair for mother’s day and I’ve been using them ever since.

I feel goofy while wearing them. But they work! In fact, as soon as I take them off at night, the light in house feels freakishly “cold” and rousing. I’m amazed by the difference my orange glasses make. If you ever have to work late, watch TV in the evening or check your phone at bedtime, you might want to consider getting such a pair of glasses, too.