Blue-blocking glasses may help treat bipolar disorder

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    If you have bipolar disorder, depression or trouble sleeping, it may help to wear amber-tinted glasses at night, new research suggests. These orange shades block blue light, which the body uses to adjust the biological clock to control sleeping and many other functions.
    Blue light is a major component of sunlight, and exposure to it in the morning signals that it’s time to wake up and also helps reset the body’s clock, which is why morning sun is so important for adjusting to jet lag. Likewise, darkness following sundown serves as a cue to sleep. This worked well for our ancestors whose primary source of light was the sun. But many modern-day electronic devices like phones, computers and televisions also emit blue light, and being exposed to these after dusk can confuse the body, interrupting sleep. This, in turn, can worsen and increase the risk of developing various mental illnesses.
    Scientists have proposed that limiting exposure to blue light given off by electronics at night could help people sleep and help reset dysfunctional biological clocks, both of which are involved in disorders like manic depression.
    In a small Norwegian study of 23 people hospitalized for bipolar disorder, scientists assigned 12 to wear “blue-blocking” amber glasses for one week, and 11 not to. Meanwhile, no changes were made to the patient’s medications.
    The paper found an enormous difference between the two groups. Those wearing the amber-tinted glasses for only one week scored on average 14 points lower on a test used to measure mania known as the Young Mania Rating Scale. That’s more than twice what doctors consider to be a “clinically significant difference” and is a “remarkably high effect size,” according to a commentary accompanying the study.
    Improvements were noticeable after only three nights of wearing the sunglasses.

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