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Anyone tried prescription blue-blocker spectacles?

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Sasha, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I wear specs at all times. I recently tried a pair of orange-tinted, plain-lens safety specs worn on top of my own glasses in the evening to see if it might help my insomnia but I couldn't keep them in place. I'm wondering whether to splash out on a prescription pair but because I have a very high prescription I can only have fairly small lenses. I'm wondering if the specs would therefore let too much light in at the sides to be effective.

    Any advice?
     
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    @Sasha

    Somewhere on this site :nervous:, there is information on how to evaluate blue-blocker lenses. I had an orange tinted pair that didn't pass the test, sigh.

    Sushi
     
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks, Sushi - that's the next problem down the line! At the moment, my main concern is whether, even if I get lenses that are correctly tinted, the fact that they'll be relatively small lenses and not wrap-round specs will mean there's any point to having them. I have a complex prescription so it's not going to be a cheap experiment.
     
  4. Legendrew

    Legendrew Content team

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    I've tried plenty of different colors in sunglasses to try and ease my summer migraines/headaches (triggered by high intensity sunlight) but i've yet to find anything that worked. That said I've never heard of tinted lenses helping with insomnia.
     
  5. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    The idea is that if you block out blue light in the evening, you overcome the messing-up of your melatonin levels caused by artificial light (if memory serves).
     
  6. Legendrew

    Legendrew Content team

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    Sounds like an interesting idea and I can see why it might work, anything is worth a try!

    I'm currently in the process of trying to sort of my somewhat terrible sleeping habits; 1am-1pm is not helping me I don't think not to mention I'm starting university again soon so I need to become accustomed to waking and being functional earlier in the day!
     
    Sasha likes this.
  7. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    I have a pair of blue blockers that can be worn over my normal glasses. They wrap around your head so you don't get blue light intruding from the sides either. No prescription required. I got them quite cheaply on Amazon on recommendation from a good friend from the blogosphere who experienced benefit from them.

    I was surprised by how effective they were in making me fatigued at night time (the good kind of fatigued, as in actually feeling sleepy and needing to put your head down NOW and sleep, contrary to the pathological ME fatigue and my usual tired-yet-wired condition at night where I would regularly stay awake until 4, 5 or even 6 am). I put the glasses on a couple of hours before I want to fall asleep and I've had very few nights since using them that I was awake until the wee hours, unless pain flared up and kept me awake.

    Also helpful has been minimising screen time a couple of hours before bedtime and installing f.lux on my computer which automatically changes the colour spectrum on your screen after sunset. I also forced myself to quit the terrible habit of using my smartphone for Facebook, texting etc. during the night which, in hindsight, had a terrible effect on my already messed up sleep pattern. Quitting nighttime internet browsing was harder than quitting smoking, by the way. But just think of all that blue light from your phone or laptop bathing your suprachiasmatic nucleus with, evolutionarily speaking, totally inappropriate signal at night.

    One caveat, however. Like most things I've found effective for my ME symptoms thus far, this intervention made me worse before making me better. The circadian clock is very dysregulated in ME so it makes sense that it would take some time to entrain it. I think some people are too ill and may not be able to.

    For some PWME, including me, their circadian rhythm is inverted and evening time is when their energy peaks. Traditionally this has been attributed to the inverted cortisol diurnal curve and defective melatonin production but I must say I have become skeptical of this explanation since Vegas' posts on this thread about diurnal variation in glutathione levels. As usual, the redox status in the cell is "where it's at" in this disease and the terrible endocrine and neurotransmitter situation is a downstream manifestation of the underlying metabolic problems.

    For me personally, my cortisol curve has been tested and it has a normal 8 am peak and I do not have low cortisol. Yet, when I was at my worst, 6pm-1am was when my energy was maximal (still abysmal of course) and the only time when my brain would function even slightly.

    When I started the blue blocker glasses, I was waking up extremely hungover as if I'd taken Rx sleeping pills or exogenous melatonin and I was finding (to my consternation) that the evenings were no longer better in terms of energy and brain fog because of course now the glasses were making me wind down like a normal person. I functioned in a state of perpetual brain fog and fatigue for a few weeks (more so than usual, I mean) during which I was apparently entraining the circadian clock. But this resolved after a while and now I sleep better and have more normal energy during the first half of the day.

    It was not an easy transition, though. I just thought I'd put this out there because like with everything else making the blog rounds, even things as seemingly harmless as this, PWME can have bizarre or paradoxical reactions and I would go as far as to call it a (temporary) crash, as improbable as that sounds.

    I am going to start using a light box in the mornings soon (bright light therapy, normally used for seasonal affective disorder) to see if the circadian situation could be further improved. "Normal people" and people with seasonal depression find this helpful for energy and cognition during the day by increasing catecholamines from bright light exposure. But with my hyperadrenergic POTS and anxiety issues I have a feeling this will make me worse, at least initially.

    I feel compelled to experiment on myself, though, seeing as conventional medicine has had absolutely nothing to offer me.
     
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  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    @caledonia - someone mentioned to me that you'd found some snap-on blue-blocking lenses. Is that true? Could you please give me some details?
     
  9. caledonia

    caledonia

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    They actually belonged to my mom, and on a whim, I picked them up from her house after she passed feeling that somehow they might be useful - thanks mom! But I've seen the same thing at the pharmacy for $20 or $25.

    Now that I've been working on methylation for awhile, I don't seem to be as sensitive. I don't wear my amber glasses at all any more, but I still strictly stay off the computer at night, or else. Even using Nocturne, which turns the screen orange and black - a lot more blue blocking than Flux - doesn't work. There's something about the stimulation of being on the computer in general which winds me up.
     
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  10. tossnara

    tossnara [banned as spam]

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    I'm wearing a pair of eyewear that can block out 97% of blue light:) After a few weeks of testing, my eyes feel much better and the sleeping quality improved.
     

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