If you follow me on Twitter, you may see me posting about how much I love my TrueDark glasses. I love them. See? Here’s proof:
— Jess Birken ? (@JessBirken) March 7, 2018
— Jess Birken ? (@JessBirken) March 29, 2018
What are TrueDark glasses? Well, for starters, they’re the highest of fashion. And, as a bonus, they filter out blue light.
Newsflash: not all light is created equal. The wrong lighting at the wrong time of day can ruin your sleep, your work performance, and even your health.
Different kinds of light affect us differently. And, lately, blue light is getting a nasty rep.
Why Is Blue Light so Brutal?
LED and fluorescent lights, despite being more eco-friendly than their incandescent brethren, emit markedly more blue light. Your computer, smartphones, tablets, and TV screens are pumping it out, too. We’re blasting ourselves with more and bluer light, sometimes for 15 (or more!) hours a day. And it’s starting to affect us.
According to Harvard Medical School, blue light is more powerful than other lights in suppressing melatonin. Melatonin helps regulate our circadian rhythms, which means it regulates our wake-sleep cycles. More blue light = less melatonin. And “less melatonin” generally means crummy sleep.
When your face is mere inches from your laptop screen until 1:00 am as you try to crank out some last-minute work, you’re making it hard to fall asleep afterward.
All that extra blue light is gumming up your sleep cycles. But wait! There’s more!
Recent studies are beginning to paint a compelling picture of blue light’s impact on your melatonin levels and circadian rhythms. It may also increase your risk for some terrifying stuff, like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
On the other hand, it’s important to understand that blue light isn’t all bad. You shouldn’t try to eliminate it (even if you could). Blue light helps you feel awake and alert during the day and can boost your productivity. So, we need to be mindful about our light intake.
So, What’s a Night Owl to Do?
Some of you may wonder what you can do about it. I mean, sometimes you’ve gotta give up some sleep to get the work done, amirite? Plus, what does any of this have to do with your law practice?
Well, here’s the thing: you are your law practice.
So even when it seems like you can never stop tackling the pile of work, taking care of yourself is crucial, for you and your practice. You can’t do the lawyering without being a whole and healthy you. Mmmkay?
Say it with me now: “Taking care of myself is taking care of my practice.” “Taking care of myself is taking care of my practice.” “Taking care of myself is taking care of my practice.”
And that, my friends, is where those snazzy True Dark glasses enter the scene. They help you sleep. They’re “blue blockers,” yes. But instead of just blocking all blue light, they help filter the right amount of blue light depending on the time of day. Interested? Check them out!
And, if you’re looking for a cheaper solution, here are a few tips:
- Go screen-free 2 hours before bed;
- Download an app on your phone or computer to filter out blue light;
- Get plenty of bright light during the day, and use dimmer lighting during the evenings; and
- Use smart lights to create red light in your lamps after sunset.
If you can start making strides toward limiting the blue light you’re soaking up at inopportune times, you’ll likely see much better sleep and, I hope, avoid some nasty health issues down the road.