Can blue-light-blocking glasses help you sleep better?

Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored
Updated Tue April 9, 2019

Story highlights

  • Blue light is a type of visible light that is emitted from the devices you use every day
  • Studies suggest that blue-light-blocking lenses may help improve sleep

We're always looking to make our time in bed more comfortable, from the time we shut our eyes to the moment our alarm begins buzzing in the morning. That means falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer and feeling well rested by the time we wake up. And because so much of our day-to-day functionality depends on getting a solid night's sleep, it's one area we are always keen to invest in.

Products we like include sunrise alarm clocks that can wake you up more naturally in the morning, weighted blankets that are thought to help reduce anxiety and help you feel more comfortable, and lightweight bedding that helps prevent overheating at night.

But all of these products are for use at night, while you're in bed. There's also a way you can proactively set yourself up for restful sleep, hours before you even hit the sack -- namely, blocking out your exposure to blue light.

Blue light is a type of visible light that is emitted from the devices you use every day, including your smartphone, tablet and computer. Because this is a short wavelength of light that produces a high amount of energy, our bodies tend to associate blue light with daytime. And because it pushes your internal clock later and later, exposure to blue light (like looking at your phone or Netflixing in bed) makes it harder for people to fall asleep.

In an ideal world, that means you should put down your devices well before it's time to sleep. But that's the ideal, and likely doesn't happen often for many of us who are always connected to technology one way or another. That's where blue-light-blocking glasses come in.

These glasses (which can be prescription or nonprescription) essentially block out blue-light waves. And some studies suggest that these lenses help improve sleep overall when worn hours before bedtime.

Even better news is that many of our go-to online eyewear brands have blue-light-blocking options. Popular direct-to-consumer brand Warby Parker, for instance, offers blue-light-filtering lenses for an additional $50 on the purchase of frames.

Felix Gray, the online purveyor of ultrastylish frames, has an entire section dedicated to "sleep glasses" that provide blue-light protection in style for just $95. Many of the styles -- including our favorites, the Roebling and the Kepler -- rival designer options out there but cost far less.

EyeBuyDirect has two collections focused around blue-light protection, EBDBlue (starting at $25; eyebuydirect.com) and SightRelax (starting at $35; eyebuydirect.com). Both lines offer scratch-resistant, anti-glare, UV-protective and blue-light-filtering lenses. The only difference is the latter also offers reading enhancement.

Additionally, retailers such as Quay Australia, LensCrafters, and MVMT have all gotten on board with blue-light protection.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed prices at the time of publication.