THURSDAY, Dec. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with insomnia symptoms, wearing amber versus clear lenses for two hours before bedtime is associated with improved sleep, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Ari Schechter, Ph.D., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues examined whether wearing amber-tinted blue-light-blocking lenses before bedtime would improve sleep among individuals with insomnia. In a randomized crossover trial, 14 individuals wore blue-light-blocking amber lenses or clear placebo lenses in lightweight wraparound frames for two hours immediately before bedtime for seven consecutive nights.

The researchers found that at the end of the intervention period there were improvements in the Pittsburgh Insomnia Rating Scale total scores and Quality of Life, Distress, and Sleep Parameter subscales in the amber versus clear lenses condition. There was a significant delay in reported wake-up time in the amber versus clear lenses condition, and mean subjective total sleep time (TST), overall quality, and soundness of sleep were significantly higher over the seven-day intervention period. Also in the amber versus clear lenses condition, actigraphic measures of TST only were significantly higher.

"These findings have health relevance given the broad use of light-emitting devices before bedtime and prevalence of insomnia," the authors write. "Amber lenses represent a safe, affordable, and easily implemented therapeutic intervention for insomnia symptoms."

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