For my final Sealy Deeper Sleeper challenge of 2016, I’ve been trying out blue blocking glasses. My brief was to wear them for one hour before going to sleep and see whether they changed my sleep patterns.
To give the scientific background, devices like smartphones and tablets can have a negative impact on sleep. This is because they are often illuminated by light-emitting diodes – or LEDs. These tend to emit blue-wavelength light which can keep us awake for longer. As their name suggests, blue blocking glasses stop the light from doing this.
Although I try not to use my phone or tablet during the evening, I always fall at the final hurdle. I can’t go to bed without checking emails and social media.
As I blog for a living, I like to think I have a legitimate excuse for doing so but, of course, my body doesn’t know that!
I’ve also got into the habit of playing video games once everyone else has gone to bed too. I know it’s a bad time to play, but the people of Gotham need me and Batman!
The first time I put on the glasses was a strange experience. It felt like I was looking at the world from inside a medicine bottle! Everything was a brown-orange colour. Brighter objects stood out more but, had I not known the colours they were beforehand, it would have been difficult to tell.
I tried playing video games first of all, but this didn’t last long. Perhaps FIFA 17 was a bad choice. I found it tricky telling the two teams apart despite selecting kits that, to the naked eye, were easily discernible. This old gaffe by John Motson sums it up: “For those of you watching in black and white, Spurs are in the all-yellow strip.”
When it came to using my tablet, there were fewer such problems with colours but I found it difficult to read the text on the screen. I once worked at a charity that helps people with visual impairments, so know a fair amount about accessibility. And this wasn’t at all accessible.
Of course though, this wasn’t the point of the exercise! I suppose though, it dissuaded me from wanting to play video games or use my tablet, so there was an indirect benefit before my head even hit the pillow.
The true test was how well I slept. It doesn’t normally take me long to nod off, but I often find myself thinking about things first. I don’t recall thinking about anything after wearing the blue blocking glasses though. I can only assume, therefore, that I fell asleep sooner.
So there we have it, another successful experiment. I look forward to finding out what’s in store in 2017.
In the meantime, why not see how I fared in my other Sealy Deeper Sleeper challenges?