Let’s talk about the science behind glasses that block blue light. Research shows that blue blocker lenses are helpful for better sleep if used at night before bed. Excessive blue light during the night interrupts the body’s circadian rhythm.
The Harvard University Health Letter explained the science in an article updated in 2018:
Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).
In another study of blue light, researchers at the University of Toronto compared the melatonin levels of people exposed to bright indoor light who were wearing blue-light–blocking goggles to people exposed to regular dim light without wearing goggles.
The fact that the levels of the hormone were about the same in the two groups strengthens the hypothesis that blue light is a potent suppressor of melatonin. It also suggests that shift workers and night owls could perhaps protect themselves if they wore eyewear that blocks blue light. Inexpensive sunglasses with orange-tinted lenses block blue light, but they also block other colors, so they’re not suitable for use indoors at night.
So science points to using blue light blocking glasses at night. What evidence do these glasses work to reduce eye strain, headaches and dry eye during the day?
The research on eye strain isn’t quite there yet—but some folks do report blue light blocking glasses help with these issues during the day, especially if you stare at a screen for many hours.
Bottom line: if you’re buying blue blocker lenses, they should be used at night when working on your computer, checking your cell phone or watching television to help people sleep better. We recommend not using these glasses during the day—that’s because blue light helps folks stay more alert and improves memory and cognition.
After testing several different blue light blocking glasses, we picked Livho’s 2 Pack Blue Light Blocking Glasses as the best budget-friendly option. Here’s why:
What We Liked
• Affordable, yet effective. If you want to try out blue light blocking glasses without spending a fortune, these are a good starting point.
• UV ray protection.
• Clear lenses. Some blue light blocking glasses have a yellow tint; these are clear.
What Needs Work
• Large frame size may not work well on smaller faces.
• Plastic frames aren’t designed for longevity. But that’s the trade-off at this price level. We think they still were effective, however.