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The Blue Light Glasses That Fixed My Insomnia Almost Immediately

Plus 4 pairs I tried on.
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A few weeks ago, I FaceTimed my parents in the evening and when they picked up, both had on what I can only describe as matching orange fighter pilot goggles. They were sitting on the couch, watching TV, and explained that the accessory wasn't simply a fashion statement: They're blue light-blocking. Perhaps I'm the last one to the blue light game, but I only recently learned about the high-energy light that can disrupt your circadian rhythm. In other words, looking at a screen at night can trick your brain into thinking it's daytime and make it difficult to fall, and even stay, asleep (hence the tip to not look at screens an hour before bed). My dad, who has always been a terrible sleeper, insists that they make an enormous difference—as someone who usually wakes up for the day at 3 AM, he's been "sleeping in" till 5:30 AM.

I quickly began polling friends and coworkers and learned that most of them already use glasses to filter blue light. And, to both my surprise and my parents', they come in many styles beyond neon orange. My job has always required that I spend a large amount of time on various electronic devices, but since quarantine began, I've spent even more time glued to my computer, phone, iPad, and TV screens. I don't think it's a coincidence that my sleep this past summer has been worse than ever before. A good amount of that is spent worrying about things that are out of my control, but I figured I would try one of the few things that could actually help: I bought four blue light-blocking pairs to find the perfect option—and see for myself if they really worked.

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I bought these frames on the basis that my Ray-Ban Aviators are still some of my favorite glasses I've ever owned, but without the dark lenses they leaned a bit too grandpa-meets-Stanley-Tucci-from-The-Lovely-Bones for my taste.

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I loved the way these amber-colored frames looked online with the blue interior and they ended up being my second-favorite pair. G actually ended up inheriting these since they're apparently the Sisterhood of the Traveling Glasses and look just as good (if not better!) on him.

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This option was the sole pair I tried from Quay and I really liked the shape and thickness of the frames. They were the winner untillll I tried on the very last pair because they were just a bit heavier, which I knew would bother me (especially in the middle of the night when I'm often up reading).

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Like Goldilocks, these slightly rounded, not-too-severe classic frames were just right for my face. I've since been wearing them every evening to watch TV (and even most days as I work), in the middle of the night, and pretty much anytime I remember to grab them. They're light, stylish, and exactly what I was hoping to find!

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Once I landed on and began using these frames, the result was so immediate it took me by surprise: I'd heard that blue light glasses aid in falling asleep, but they helped me remain asleep. 

While I'm someone who typically goes to bed between 9:30 and 10:30 PM each night, and crashes two pages into whatever book I'm reading (Daylight Saving being the exception), I regularly wake up around 1:30 AM. The problem, I now realize, is that I was reaching for my iPad to read. Whereas I could once stay awake long enough to finish a book in the middle of the night, I now put on my blue light glasses and feel tired much more quickly. Recently, I can only get through a few pages before I fall back asleep. A similar thing happens when I pull up a sleep meditation on Headspace. Where the blue light may have previously woken me up, it no longer bothers me to look at the screen.

G saw such a difference in my sleep patterns, which is how I convinced him to keep my second-favorite pair (and he now swears by them as well). Whether or not we're experiencing a placebo effect, it's safe to say we're both converts to blue light-blocking frames (just not the bright orange ones...). 

P.S. I'll be sharing the frames in Stories later today from last week's try-on session to see how they look "IRL." 

Looking for more sleep tips? Read about my nighttime rituals and how Leslie cured her insomnia

Products purchased through this post may earn us a commission.