Many technologies used today, such as computer monitors, smartphones and tablets emit blue light that can disturb sleep. In recent years, the use of such devices at work has also increased dramatically.
Spectacles with a blue light filter can improve sleep and increase work performance, according to a joint study by researchers from Indiana University and the University of Washington. The study was published in the English-language “Journal of Applied Psychology”.
Wearing blue-light glasses improves both the quantity and quality of sleep. High-quality sleep has positive effects on health and also on work commitment and task fulfillment at the workplace.
Blue light and the circadian rhythm?
How does blue light influence sleep?
There have been reports in the past about the benefits of blue light glasses (glasses that filter out blue light) for people who spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen. This new research is expanding our understanding of the effects on the circadian rhythm, the natural internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, which repeats itself approximately every 24 hours.
People are often exposed to blue light
The data of 63 people in management and 67 employees of a call center were analyzed and evaluations of work performance were made. Participants were randomly selected to test blue light filtering glasses or received placebo glasses.
Wearing blue-light glasses creates a form of physiological darkness and thus improves both the quantity and quality of sleep, which was also associated with improved work performance. In general, the effects of wearing glasses with blue light filtering were stronger in so-called night people than in early risers.
Although a reduction of blue light exposure is beneficial for most people, night people seem to benefit more from it because they are confronted with greater deviations between their internal clock and externally controlled working time, the researchers explain.
The model used in the new study shows how and when wearing glasses with a blue light filter can help to improve quality of life and work performance. This is because daily commitment and the performance of tasks seem to be related to underlying biological processes such as the circadian rhythm that is influenced by blue light, according to the research group.
The researchers add that their analyses show a general pattern according to which blue light filtering can have a cumulative effect on important performance variables, at least in the short term. (as)
“This study provides evidence of a very cost effective means of improving sleep and work results and the benefits achieved are gigantic. I personally do not know of any other intervention that would be so effective at such a low cost,” explains study author Professor Cristiano L. Guarana of Indiana University Kelley School of Business in a press release.
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