Life Strength Fitness
Stronger for Life
Life Strength Fitness_Final.jpg

Health Articles

Learn how to apply current physiology and nutrition research to improve your health and performance.

Want Better Sleep, Try TrueDark

Looking Back…

For 31 years of my life sleep was something that I never truly struggled with. Sure I did all nighters growing up playing video games with friends and studying for college finals. It wasn’t until I had my son Axel that I got exposed to waking up 3-5 times per night for an entire year. The destruction that had to my circadian rhythm (your body’s sleep clock) was unbelievable. I went from being able to fall asleep in 5-10 minutes to 1-2 hours, I would wake up anticipating and wondering when Axel was going to wake up in the middle of the night, and I couldn’t sleep in anymore to save my life. I started trying nutritional interventions, avoiding screen times of electronic devices, blackout curtains, new pillow, new bed, and walks outside without sunglasses on. Those are all great ideas that usually help most people but it didn’t help me.

I heard about a company called TrueDark a couple years ago on the Bulletproof podcast which claimed that they had patented these glasses that block blue wave lengths of light and would help you get the best night of sleep of your life. I’ll admit when I heard that I thought to myself “yeah right, they won’t do anything, and who wants to wear glasses 30 minutes to 2 hours before bed?”

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

I was getting really sick and tired of sleeping like crap, having no energy, gaining weight, and being crabby so I decided to read about a dozen studies that had been published in credible journals on the effects of different wave lengths of light on the human body. Turns out it is a huge area of study and our exposure to different wave lengths of light can work for us or against us. Don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with every color of light and what effects it has on you. I am going to tell you a bit about blue light.

Blue wavelengths (460-490nm) inhibit melatonin production (hormone that makes you’ll asleep) and makes you have less sleep and lower sleep quality. During the day it is totally fine to be exposed to it because then it is easier to stay awake. It gets used in hospitals to tread Jaundice in newborn babies. It also attacks bacteria on our skin that causes acne. Some devices the emit blue wavelengths are LED lights, halogen lights, LED TVs, OLED TVs, computer monitors, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

The Effect of TrueDark Elite

I already had established a habit of putting my phone down a couple hours before bed but I have LED lights in my house and my wife and I typically watch a show before bed on our OLED TV. Instead of living like a caveman I decided to get a pair of TrueDark Elite glasses and see if they make a difference. I routinely track my sleep using the “sleep score” app which does an awesome job at breaking down total sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep, and how long it takes you to fall asleep. I also typically go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

5 days prior to using TrueDark Elite glasses I averaged the following:

  • 5 hours and 21 minutes of Total sleep

  • 2 hours and 51 minutes of Light sleep

  • 1 hour 55 minutes of Deep sleep

  • 34 minutes of REM sleep

5 days after using TrueDark Elite glasses I averaged the following:

  • 5 hours and 54 minutes of Total sleep (10% more)

  • 3 hours and 25 minutes of Light sleep (19% more)

  • 1 hour 31 minutes of Deep sleep (very healthy amount)

  • 57 minutes of REM sleep (67% more)

I understand this is just one person’s data. If you are struggling with sleep, I highly recommend you try some of the other things I’ve tried to improve your sleep listed earlier. I just wanted to share some data and my experience using the TrueDark Elite glasses. They can be purchased on amazon or if you want to try them for yourself. I highly recommend them.

Want some further reading on light?