This is the first in a series of blogs I will have of insomnia. In this first blog, I am going to do a book review of the book above. It is only 99 cents on amazon if you have a kindle!
The book starts out talking about how night shift nurses were found to have a higher incidence of breast cancer. The author talks about how melatonin suppresses cancer but lack of melatonin causes breast cancer to grow rapidly. Blue light has been found to suppress melatonin. Wearing glasses that block the blue light prevents suppression of melatonin and therefore may reduce the risk of cancer…
Artificial lights were only developed relatively recently in the scheme of human history. Artificial lights contain blue light sources that suppress melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep hormone that makes us feel sleepy. Therefore, if we are exposed to blue light, we might have trouble falling asleep since melatonin is not released into our bloodstream. When the eyes are exposed to bright light, melatonin flow is delayed, resetting the circadian clock later. Light in the morning causes the pineal gland (which makes melatonin) to stop releasing it into the blood stream, so you can feel awake.
The author suggests wearing the blue light blocking glasses a couple of hours before you go to bed to stimulate melatonin release, which will help you fall asleep. For night shift workers, he also suggests that they put on the blue-blocking glasses a couple of hours before they fall asleep. To deal with jet lag, one can put on blue-blocking glasses earlier each day to shift to an earlier time zone (eastern time zone) or to adjust to a more western time zone, one can put on the glasses in the morning to delay the circadian rhythm.
The author provides techniques for solving the problem of adolescents waking up late. He suggests giving them the glasses to help them fall asleep earlier. The blue light blocking glasses also can help people suffering from bipolar disease and postpartum depression get more sleep.
For shift workers who need to sleep during the day, some other things they can do would be using black-out curtains and white noise to help them sleep during the day. When they get up to go to the bathroom, they can wear the blue light blocking glasses so they will not inadvertently reset their circadian clock and can get back to sleep easily.
I have these blue light blocking glasses and wear them myself about an hour before I go to sleep. I feel pretty tired within an hour and fall asleep quickly. I wear them on my way home from my night shift (as the sun rises), so the light will not reset my circadian rhythm, and I can fall asleep easier. Check them out in this fun video: