This article is sponsored by Bupa.
My name is Carolyn and I’m a screen addict.
Most of my work is online, and a whole lot of my friends live inside my computer (well, in other parts of the world, accessible only through my computer), and so I find myself spending a ridiculous amount of hours online, day and night. And I am slightly ashamed to admit my husband sometimes finds me cruising Facebook under the blankets late into the night, when I have pretended I was going to sleep.
And then – guess what? – I have trouble going to sleep. Shocking!
So when Bupa asked if I would be willing to try their new Sleep Well Glasses, I was pretty enthusiastic. If these things can help me go from flickering screen to catching some zzzzzz’s – skipping that ‘calming down by staring at the cracks in the ceiling for an hour’ phase, I am all in.
The idea behind the glasses is that they work pretty much exactly like sunglasses, but instead of cutting out UVAs and UVBs, they minimise the blue light getting through to your eyes.
What’s the trouble with blue light? Nothing, most of the time. During the day, the sun emits blue light, your retina absorbs it and it cuts your melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you sleepy. So blue light during the day is your friend. But at night, unnatural blue light can be emitted from your TV, computer, smart phone, and other LED-lit devices.
The result? You guessed it: your melatonin production is cut and you want to party like it’s 1999 all night long.
The first thing I noticed when I got the glasses was that they’re not dorky. Win! They look like absolutely normal reading glasses. And if you already wear glasses, you can have the Bluelight lenses put into your existing frames, and with your usual prescription. (I do already wear glasses but can comfortably read lightly or watch TV without them, so I just tried the Sleep Well Glasses without my prescription.)
I decided to use the glasses as part of a broader approach to getting more and better sleep. I also have a one-hour buffer between any screen time and trying to sleep, which is going well. But, knowing myself as I do, I have employed my husband to be the sleep police because I know I can’t be trusted to not just check my emails one last time or, you know, buy one last thing that I saw on sale on Instagram.
As part of this strategy, I wore the glasses every night for a week from around 5pm, as I worked at my computer, watched House of Cards, and ignored my kids while surfing social media on my phone. I even cheated on my one-hour buffer a few times (okay, most nights, but in my defence, my husband makes a terrible sleep police officer).
But none of that mattered. I found I could put down my phone, read for 10 minutes and drop off to sleep with no trouble at all. This is life-changingly brilliant in my world! Slightly enabling? Sure, and I know I really should have less screen time in the evenings.
But let’s be honest, I’m going to use my phone or computer up until bedtime at least a few times a week, so I may as well do what I can to ensure I still get a good night’s sleep. I’ll be using these glasses every night from now on, and next time I get new glasses, I’ll be asking for the Bluelight lenses to be added to my prescription.
Check out Sleep Well Glasses if you’d like to learn more.