Here at Her. Wellbeing. we are always on the lookout for different ways to improve our holistic wellness. When it comes down to it, our sleep quality has such a huge impact on every part of our wellbeing. We all know it- when you haven’t had enough sleep or good quality sleep, everything in life just seems that much more challenging and requires way more energy than you have to give. You are exhausted and counting down the hours until you can lay your head on your pillow. But then, what happens when you are exhausted, and still struggle to fall asleep once the lights go out? It could be, that it is actually those lights that are playing havoc with your body’s internal clock- which is what I found out the hard way.
A few months back, when we were in lockdown, I would feel like a zombie most days, but then lay awake for what seemed like an hour or more every night trying to drift off once I went to bed. At first, I simply put it down to the extra mental load of supporting my children through home learning, trying to get as much work done around that as I could, and not getting to bed early enough every night. But something bigger has always been at play- I can be so exhausted, but I still stay up so late some nights, unmotivated to just turn the light off and go to sleep.
It got me thinking whether there was more to my unhealthy sleeping patterns than life’s busyness and not ‘making’ myself go to bed earlier. In every other aspect of life, I really am motivated to take care of myself and do what’s best for my body. But sleep? I just couldn’t quite stick to a healthy sleeping routine. My body was screaming out that I needed to prioritise it, and I really tried to implement a wind down routine at night to get into healthier sleep habits, but I would become so frustrated when I took myself off to bed at a reasonable hour and would lay awake unable to drift off.
I was so frustrated one day after a restless night and was telling a friend when she called for a chat. She mentioned that she had started wearing blue light glasses during her workday, and after a couple of weeks of using them, she was raving about the difference it had made to her energy levels and her sleep patterns. I had heard about blue light before and its effects on sleep, but had only ever taken notice on the surface level. I had made sure I turned night mode on my phone and laptop, and left it at that without ever really thinking about it again. But, once my friend mentioned her blue light glasses to me, I was intrigued and started looking into exactly how blue light affects sleep and the extent of the problem. And wow, so much began to make sense for me about why I was struggling with sleep.
Blue light is naturally emitted by the sun and is artificially created by all devices and most lighting around our homes. Generally, exposure to any kind of light supresses the hormones responsible for our sleep cues. So, exposure to light (and in particular blue light), tells our body that it is daytime, and we should be alert and active. This is fantastic during the day for boosting our mood and living life, but at night, when our body needs rest and our nervous system needs to wind down and recharge, light tricks the body to keep going, preventing us from feeling sleepy and naturally knowing when to fall asleep. Being exposed to light at night is such a big part of why in our day and age, with phones attached to us and LED lighting being used in most homes, people are just not getting enough good quality sleep. And when our sleep suffers, so does our holistic wellbeing and ability to function optimally during the day.
As I found, being exposed to light after the sun goes down means that your body cannot tell the difference between night and day. You feel too alert at night, and it takes you longer to fall asleep because your brain has been so stimulated by lighting and devices like smartphones, computers, TV’s, gaming consoles, and tablets.
Enter Baxter Blue’s range of sleep glasses. Throughout my research, I kept coming across this brand, and the benefits of the amber Blue+™ Sleep lenses they have developed to filter out blue light wavelengths that impact the release of melatonin- vital to having a good night’s sleep! Their development has been backed by science, and their lens technology has been trialled, tested, and proven to be effective. I just had to try them in the hopes they would have a positive impact.
I chose the ‘Nat’ style sleep glasses in champagne colour. These beauties have been specifically designed to be worn when the sun goes down to filter out the light that distorts your body’s ability to interpret its natural sleep cues.
I started using my Baxter’s when we were still in lockdown, and as mentioned, was spending a good part of my day looking at a computer screen. With a combination of helping my children with home learning and then moving on to doing my own work from home, I was exposed to a computer screen much more than I would normally be. To wind down after each day, I had also gotten into the habit of cosying up in bed at night with my laptop to watch a favourite movie or TV show. So, as bad a habit as it was to get into, not only was I sitting in front of a computer screen for a good part of my day, but I would also then compound this by being in front of a screen to decompress every night.
It may have been a coincidence, but the first night that I tried out my Baxter’s, I could not sit through one episode of my favourite show on my laptop without falling asleep! And then it happened the next night as well. For me, this was actually a good thing, because it meant my body was receiving clear signals it had had enough for the day, and to put that laptop away and go to sleep. And for the first time in a long time, I just went straight to sleep. No tossing and turning or lying awake forever willing myself to drift off.
The day my Baxter’s arrived I put them straight on. I knew they were intended for use once the sun had gone down, but figured it couldn’t hurt to filter out the blue light I was being exposed to using the computer all day too. I was super conscientious about wearing them every time I was in front of a screen during the day as well as at night, and I have to say that honestly, my sleep patterns have improved dramatically from that first week I started using them. I feel tired enough of an evening now to drift off to sleep easily, rather than overtired and ‘wired’- unable to ‘switch off’. I have become so much more conscious of the light I am exposed to after dark and ensure I’m always wearing my Baxter’s so that my brain has time to adjust and wind down. And I am happy to report that I no longer feel like a zombie during the day! Having an easier and earlier bedtime has translated to an increase in my energy throughout the day too.
I absolutely love the look and feel of the glasses themselves. The yellow tinge lenses are barely noticeable when you are wearing them. I like the slight glow and warmth that they give everything when you have them on. And they are so light and comfortable that I sometimes forget I am wearing them! There have been a couple of times when I’ve laid my head down on my pillow only to realise I still have them on!
It has been such an easy adjustment to make, I just wish I had been using these glasses sooner! Gone are my restless nights and waking up feeling exhausted.
If you are looking for a simple way to improve your sleep quality, I would highly recommend that you give Baxter’s a try. They have so many gorgeous frames to choose from for the whole family (even kids!) and have various types of lenses depending on your needs and what you want to use them for (they also have polarised sunglasses in their range!). Do yourself a favour and go and check them out at https://www.baxterblue.com.au/