People sometimes ask “Why is Dave Asprey wearing orange glasses?”.
Well it could be for one of two reasons.
One could be for helping to improve Irlen syndrome symptoms.
Two, it could be for blocking artificial blue light at night.
This post is about why you should consider wearing a pair of blue light blocking glasses that have a dark amber or yellow colored lenses. Especially when you are in an artificial light environment.
This is such a simple and easy biohack, yet, it can be so profound in the health benefits it provides you get both in the short-term and long-term.
At the end of the day you should be wearing these special yellow lenses when watching TV, reading your iPad, & especially if using your cellphone at night.
The main reason is to protect your natural circadian rhythm of melatonin production to help your sleep. Let’s look at this in more detail.
Table of Contents
- 1 Example of Blue Light Pollution
- 2 Medical Research Behind Blocking Blue Spectrum of Light
- 3 Best Bulletproof Blue Blocking Products
Example of Blue Light Pollution
What incredible footage from ABC news helicopter! Now that is a great example of what severe light pollution looks like from living in a built up city.
Los Angeles is one of the most lit up cities to live in at night. This was an case of a bumper to bumper traffic jam on the LA highways in all lanes going both ways.
Can you see how easily we can be exposed to too much artificial lighting, which could disturb our natural body clocks?
Incandescent and LED lightbulbs are on all around us from many different sources like:
- Car headlights,
- Advertising billboards,
- Office lights,
- Outdoor lamps and even,
- Shinning alarm clocks in the bedroom.
Pity more people aren’t using blue light filter light bulbs like these.
Medical Research Behind Blocking Blue Spectrum of Light
In case you missed it, the negative effects of artificial light exposure made the mainstream media news.
It was the press release from the American Medical Association in 2012 about the recognition that electrical powered light sources like LED’s having a negative effect on our health even with a possible link to breast cancer.
Another very good overview of the known scientific research and findings is the paper published by Tosini, G et al. in the Molecular Vision, a peer-reviewed journal.
It showed how illuminating devices like smartphones have a bad effect on keeping optimal sleeping habits plus our eye physiology health.
So minimising exposure to blue spectral light range (450-495nM) is both good for the sleep-wake cycle plus protection from the possible deterioration of our retinas and eyesight.1
This is just some research why you should consider helping to improve your nervous systems function and correct hormone secretion levels by wearing blue light filter glasses at night. Especially when you are relaxing at home watching TV, using a computer to read emails or a cellphone to catch up on social media or play games.
You might think you need to avoid all blue wavelengths.
However, that is not the case and definitely not healthy biohacking. We need to expose our eyes to natural blue light waves that come from sunlight. Doing this daily habit first thing in the morning when we wake up helps to set, or reset, our circadian rhythm to our latitude and longitude.
Natural light from the sun is the best form of light for so many more reasons.
We are talking about mainly using it to biohack our brains to stay in sync with the day/night cycle where we live. This is how we set out body clocks.
Jet lag is a common problem when your body clock is out of sync from travelling long-distance across time-zones.
If you have ever experienced a bad case of jet lag you know just how horrible it can make you feel!
It just sucks waking up in the middle of the night and then being tired all day when you are meant to be enjoying your beach holiday or trying to be alert for a business meeting or conference when you are struggling to keep your eyes open.
Learning how to beat jet lag and avoid disturbing your circadian rhythm when moving through time zones is a great biohacking skill to have.
Using the recommended glasses below is one way to avoid the problem from happening when traveling on planes, trains and buses.
There are a whole bunch of other good reasons for actively protecting your eyeballs from bad light. Obesity, cancer, depression, seasonal affected disorder (SADs) etc… These are just some more conditions that can be associated with those suffering from poor sleep patterns, not getting enough natural light at the right time of day and too much man-made fake light when the sun goes down at night.
An easy to read link for you on the medical research about why blocking the blue light spectrum is good for your overall health could be this one from Harvard Health. The article discusses the dangers of blue light spectrum on human health and physiology.
For some even more heavy scientific reading there is the Brain Gut 11 post from neurosurgeon, Dr Jack Kruse.
What Color of Light is Best for Sleeping?
Best Bulletproof Blue Blocking Products
Ready to star biohacking your circadian rhythm and sleep?
So hopefully you know can now understand that it is definitely a good thing to filter out certain spectral wavelengths.
Now you get to see biohacking products that can help protect your eyes if you are at work, home or even travelling for business or going on holiday anywhere in the world.
Blue Blocking Glasses
People wear normal sunglasses to help avoid excessive exposure to UV (ultraviolet) light and glare during the day. This is especially true in places with lots of natural sunlight, just like California 🙂
However, it is probably the artificial blue light spectrum being emitted from your work laptop , cellphone screen or the bright energy efficient LED lightbulbs inside your house at night that need more of your attention.
Wearing a comfortable pair of frames designed to filter harmful light, by using a dark yellow or amber tinted lens, is such an easy and convenient way to protect your eyes and pineal gland from the detrimental effects of digital devices glare.
What are the best blue light blocking glasses for Bulletproof biohackers?
They are “Swannies” from Swanwick Sleep and they were a massive hit at the 2016 Bulletproof Conference expo hall.
The swannies are the brand that Dave wears himself so maybe we can say these are the Bulletproof blue blocking glasses recommended choice.
Biohacker, James Swanwick, is the man behind the Swanwick Sleep company.2
Other than Dave wearing a pair of these there are Hollywood celebrities who have been spotted wearing the glasses like:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Actor, Alfie Allen, who plays Thoen Greyjoy in Game of Thrones
- NFL star Terrel Owens
- NFL player Denver Bronocs Von Miller.
These glasses have an amber/orange colored lens which have been made dark enough to blocks out enough blue light to give you a benefit.
This might not be the case with other frames that claim to blue filter lenses.
The type of color of the lens is important in order to help your brain be able to make melatonin even with the lights on in the house and for yours eyes to relax at night.
These are definitely the kind of night eyewear you need to put on when you need to finally turn the lights on at home because it is getting dark outside.
It is recommended to start wearing these a few hours before going to be bed. This will help your pineal gland, in your brain, try make enough melatonin so you are able to fall asleep easily.
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Remember though you aren’t limited to only wearing these at night time. You can even wear them during the daytime too. There were thousands of biohackers at the annual biohacking conference in Pasadena, CA doing exactly this. In the expo hall people were under the artificial fluorescent lighting for prolonged periods. This was a suitable time when biohackers felt the benefit of using them when walking around the tech expo hall. So if you need to go to conferences or are an exhibitor at expos/conventions then get a pair for then.
Do remember you would take them off at times when going outside into the daylight so that your eyes can get some exposure the full light spectrum of the sun. They are UV rated so they can be used when outside as sunglasses too.
When Should You Wear these Amber Glasses?
You would want to wear a pair of glasses that filter out blue light mainly at night before going to bed. This is so you can produce adequate amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin in your brain to help you fall asleep more easily and avoid insomnia.
However, you can use them during the day too. Are you a gamer then you’ll know these are a must and help reduce eye fatigue. If you like to watch TV shows or movies, play video games, surf the internet, check emails or do any work on a computer then you need a pair of these glasses. Looking at LED screens, or LCD screens, from a tablet PC, laptop or mobile phone is a big problem for your eye health. Again, this is not only the effect of eye strain, but also what staring at our technologies screens might be doing to your melatonin production abilities.
Did you know that there is an awesome biohackers home piece of kit that is recommended by Dave Asprey? These are the low blue light lightbulbs that you can see in the images to the right.
When you purchase these for your house what you will get is a 120 VAC nightlight fixture and one 120 VAC LED amber bulb. These light bulbs are for use in electrical sockets in the United States and Canada. Sorry for those Bulletproof fans in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, but you can try use an adapter to have them work in your electrical outlets.
One of the great benefits with these bulbs is that they block all blue light and only emit the amber range with a peak up to 598nm. They are also LED bulbs so will last a long-time and are energy efficient for your electrical billing.
Suggested Uses For Low Blue Light Bulbs
- For babies and nursing mothers. These light bulbs are also great for mothers who are breast feeding or bottle feeding their newborn baby at night. New mums who have just had a baby need to get up in the middle of the night to take care of their child. However, you don’t want to disrupt the mum’s or even the dad’s melatonin hormone cycle when they get up in the early hours of the morning or in the middle of the night. It also means the babies melatonin is protected as they too are not exposed to the same blue spectrum if they are crying or fussing for a food.
- For young children and toddlers. Use them in your childs’ bedroom as a night light if they are afraid of the dark. These bulbs are great for background lighting to help break the darkness for a child.
- For adults especially the older adult. These types of light bulbs are perfect for adults (especially the elderly) who do need to get up most nights to go to the toilet. Many people need to get up in the middle of the night to urinate (pee). Using one of these low blue light bulbs in the hallway or near your bathroom door would be a much better choice of light to help someone see a bit better on their way to the bathroom. Even worst would be turning on the bright light in the toilet so use one of these in the loo to if needs.
Dave has a range of blue blocking screen protector films called Zen Tech™. You can stick these on your different tech screens to help filter out some blue and UV light out.
There are different screen size options available in the Zen Tech™ product range. You can use this film these on one of the following Apple devices:
- iPad Air or Mini,
- iPhone 5, 5s, SE, 6, 6 plus, 6s, 6s plus 7, 7 plus
- MacBook Laptop (pro or air) 13-inch and 15-inch screen sizes
The way it works is you apply it on your device like you would any other screen protector. However, this film not only helps to protect your devices screen from scratches and markings, but also filters different spectrums of visible and invisible light being emitted from the LED’s lightening up the devices screen. So you get the benefit of 24/7 filtering without needing to do anything more than applying the film.
Some other benefits are:
- It is a clear film that does not make your screen look yellow, amber or crimson. So this might be better for those of you that do not want to make your screen look different to others. This might also be important for digital photographers, website designers, graphic designers and film or video editors that need to see all the original colors without the distorting original images colors.
- The material in the film is designed to filter out a minimum of 28% blue light and 84% ultraviolet light.
- You can peel it off, clean it and reapply it again on the same screen or another devices screen. So it is transferable between an old iPhone and if you get a new upgrade when a newer version comes out from Apple each year.
Swanwick Sleep Mask
It is surprising how few people might not think about this great biohack. If your sleep environment is not pitch black then you are getting disturbed sleep from an external source of light somewhere. This might be light coming from street lamps outside, smoke alarm led lights, passage way lighting, neighbours who don’t turn outside security lights off etc…
If you cannot control these sources of light with black out curtains then wearing a sleep mask is such a quick and easy way to create pitch blackness. Sleeping in complete darkness will give you the best chance to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Air travel just sucks as excess lights are shinning in from other passengers screens and lots of other places on the plane.
Get yourself one of these silk sleep masks from Swanwick Sleep. Not only is it oversized to block out light leaking in from around the mask, it is very comfortable to wear over your eyes and bridge of the nose, and the strap will keep the mask on, but not feeling tight that it is constricting on your scalp. The soft silk feeling will help you drift of to sleep in comfort.
There are other sleep masks available on Amazon, but we think you can’t go wrong with this one. Makes sense when you get a pair of the glasses just invest in the mask too to biohack your sleep.
Get Flux Software
This is a Bonus Tip: For a free simple way to improve either your Windows PC or Apple Mac computer you should consider installing and using free software called f.lux®.
GetFlux is a free download that was developed by people who use their computers all the time, like software developers, and know about the harmful effects artificial light exposure from computer screens can have on our brains.
This is such a handy way to auto filter out some of the harmful light waves being emitted from your laptop or computer screen when working on it, especially after dark at night. The software will automatically adjust its settings, according to your geolocation. It will change your screen color seen by you from normal bright full color resolution to various shades of light to dark amber levels according to your preference. It uses your wifi connection to determine the GPS co-ordinates where in the world or you manually type in your zip code or physical location in the search function. You are then able to change your screens color as your natural sunlight day moves into the darkness of night.
If you have an Apple iPhone or iPad then please use the Night shift function in the new iOS versions. To find out how to set it up if you haven’t done so already then use this link.
For Android users there are free or paid for apps in the Google play store which you can download from here.
For laptops like MacBooks then add an extra layer of protection using one of these screen protector films.