You may have noticed athletes and other celebrities wearing amber-tinted lenses during awards ceremonies or a night out on the town.
While the dark-orange glasses can look stylish, the reason more and more people are wearing them has little to do with appearance.
So what are their real motivations?
In this article, you’ll learn the science behind blue blockers, how they can enhance mental and physical performance, long-term health benefits of blue-blocking glasses, and why this trend is probably here to stay.
Who’s Been Spotted Wearing Blue-Blocking Glasses?
Over the past couple of years, a laundry list of celebrities and athletes has shown up wearing yellow, orange, or amber-tinted glasses.
Aside from looking stylish, they cite reasons like reduced eye strain, better energy levels, and improved sleep even when working at night under bright lights.
Here are some examples:
Brad Pitt demonstrates that not only are blue blockers a wise choice to preserve your health and vision, they’re also suitable for black tie events.
Bono wears amber-tinted lenses that block blue light because he has glaucoma. As you’ll learn in the next section, blue-blocking glasses can help prevent glaucoma and other vision problems.
Delilah Belle Hamlin is shown here wearing yellow aviators during a night out. Perhaps she’s wearing them for fashion purposes, but they’re an excellent choice for reducing eye strain in artificial light, whether or not paparazzi pursue you.
Katy Perry performs in dark orange glasses that effectively reduce eye strain and promote healthy sleep rhythms.
PJ Tucker (right) at the 2018 NBA Awards wearing dark amber lenses. More athletes are catching on to the fact that preserving your natural body rhythms can enhance recovery and improve your physical performance.
Setting aside fashion trends, the recent blue-blocking glasses craze started with biohackers who realized that blocking high-energy blue and green light wavelengths has many health benefits. Biohackers are a sometimes-eccentric group of people who dedicate themselves to pursuing the bleeding edge of health, wellness, and mental and physical performance.
Read on to learn how real science supports this trend, and why it’s spreading to people who don’t consider themselves biohackers.
What’s the Science Behind the Glasses?
The reason blue-blocking glasses are effective is due to a phenomenon known as “blue light toxicity.”
Blue light occurs in natural light, but it’s also emitted by modern energy-efficient and digital devices like computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Compared to sunlight, artificial light sources have more blue light and lower amounts of other visible frequencies.
Because of the increase of artificial blue light sources like smart phones, tablets, and other screens, people are exposed to more blue and green light than ever before in history. That’s the main reason blue-blocking glasses are an essential tool to stay healthy and perform optimally.
Light plays a crucial role in regulating your biology. Your body responds distinctly to different portions of the light spectrum. While natural sunlight is incredibly beneficial to your health–for vitamin D production, alertness, and brain function–artificial light is responsible for a rise in insomnia, fatigue, obesity, and chronic disease[*][*][*][*][*].
Excessive exposure to artificial light sources at night damages your mitochondria and allows mutations to occur in your DNA[*][*]. During the daytime, artificial light causes symptoms like eye soreness, eye strain, headache, rapid skin aging, depression, and other mood issues[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*].
Artificial blue light is proven to cause “social jet-lag”–poor sleep and constant daytime fatigue[*].
Mito Shades by MitoHQ feature lightweight frames and high-impact, pigment-blended lenses that block 100% of blue and green light. They’re the best blue blockers on the market.
Wearing high-quality blue-blocking glasses like Mito Shades improves your sleep and preserves your natural body rhythms. They also prevent eye strain and retinal damage associated with using digital devices.
Can Blue Blockers Enhance Performance?
Blue blockers can enhance mental and physical performance for athletes, students, and people who work stressful jobs. They preserve your health by allowing you to fall asleep faster, have a deeper sleep, and wake up feeling energized.
A 2012 study found that at least 70 million adults in the United States get less than six hours of sleep per night, which is less than previous decades[*]. Inadequate sleep is comparable to physical inactivity when it comes to causing health problems like type 2 diabetes[*].
Studies show that artificial light at night lowers sleep quality, resulting in depression and other mood disorders[*][*]. If you’re depressed or out of sorts, it’s difficult to reach your full potential.
According to a large meta-analysis, poor-quality sleep also decreases brain function, attention span, and long-term memory[*].
Particularly for physically active people and athletes, sleep is a time of rest and repair. In athletes, poor sleep quality causes unwanted weight gain, decreases speed, endurance, attention, and memory, and raises the risk of illness and injury[*].
A study of 28 healthy men found that reduced sleep quality reduced maximum heart rate, VO2max, and power output during physical activity regardless of physical fitness levels[*].
That’s why blue blockers are a must for boosting your physical and mental performance if you live or work around artificial lighting conditions.
What to Expect When You Wear Blue Blockers
In contrast to the first blue-blocking glasses favored by biohackers, which resembled welding goggles or 1980s science fiction movie props, consumers now have access to stylish, comfortable blue blockers that block sleep-disrupting short-wavelength blue and green light and preserve visual acuity.
The first thing you’ll notice if you try blue blockers for yourself is reduced eye strain, fewer headaches, and a calmer mood, especially at night.
It usually takes a few days to a week of consistently wearing blue-blocker glasses after dark for your body to adjust, at which point your sleep will improve dramatically.
As a result of better sleep, most people immediately notice enhanced mental sharpness, higher daytime energy levels, and increases in motivation and performance.
Long-Term Health Benefits of Blocking Blue and Green Light
Because of the ever-growing number of human-made artificial light sources, people are exposed to more blue and green light than ever before in history.
That’s why the frequency of chronic diseases associated with sleep issues and mitochondrial dysfunction is also on the rise.
In contemporary settings, addressing and preventing blue light toxicity is vital if you want to remain healthy.
Artificial blue light is toxic to your eyes, even at low intensities[*]. Blue light exposure can injure cells in your retina, destroy your mitochondria (the “powerhouses” of your cells), alter the function of your circadian clock, and damage your pineal gland, which is responsible for releasing melatonin at night[*][*][*][*].
Over time, chronic blue light exposure can thin out your retina and impair your vision, cause DNA damage, and reduce the function of cells in your eyes that respond to light and control your natural body rhythms[*][*]. Which means you’re more likely to suffer from dry eyes, cataracts, macular degeneration, poor sleep, and heightened stress levels[*][*][*][*][*][*][*].
Chronic sleep deprivation caused by blue light toxicity is also linked to elevated risk of heart disease, dementia, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, diabetes, obesity, impaired immune function and autoimmune diseases[*][*][*][*].
This is the reason why athletes and celebrities are flocking to blue-blocking glasses. If you wear high-quality blue-blocking glasses at night, you can look forward to improved well-being and a reduced risk of diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and vision loss.
Unlike most blue blockers on the market, which don’t fully block harmful light, Mito Shades by MitoHQ effectively block blue and green light in the harmful 430-550 nanometer spectrum while still allowing your eyes to work properly.