As an undergrad at the University of Waterloo,Amol Rai had a problem. He was not getting enough sleep in the nights and would thus wake up feeling tired in the morning when it was time for the classes. The problem persisted even when he started going to bed much earlier than his normal time of 1 am. And he discovered that this was a common problem with many of his college mates.
Amol did his research and discovered that the culprit was actually the ‘Blue light’ that emits from the screens of all the common electronic devices that we use in the evening hours, be it a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop or the ubiquitous TV.
Since the early 20th century, scientists have known that light plays a major role in our circadian rhythm. Before the industrial revolution, the primary source of light was the sun. Because our eyes do not differentiate between artificial and sunlight, exposure to electronic light at night results in a similar circadian response as exposure to sunlight. Also, light in the blue portion of the visual spectrum causes the most circadian disruption. The result…we sleep later than usual and wake up later than usual.
Cut to Circa 2016 and Amol who is now pursuing Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto discovers that the solution to this disruption of natural sleep patterns due to constant exposure to blue light is quite simple…Blue Block Glasses. A study conducted by Harvard University recommends “if you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue light blocking glasses”.
Enter SOMNITUDE, a startup by Amol which is devoted to harnessing circadian science to improve sleep and health.Somnitude markets a range of Blue Block glasses. These glasses filter 99% of full spectrum blue light. These glasses are worn in the hours before bedtime. One can still watch TV, and use electronic devices – as long as one has the glasses on. It helps with sleep by filtering out the blue light from the visual spectrum
Sominitude’s Blue block glasses were recently used by Olympians in Pyeongchang.
Amol truly believes that his Blue Block Glasses hold immense potential as a general promoter of better sleep hygiene as they filter the harsh blue light emitted by electronic devices in the evening.
The glasses are priced from $ 39 and can be booked online at https://blueblockglasses.com/