There seems to be two major issues that will affect the UK in the next half century; first is obesity, whilst the second focuses on mental illness.
With over £200 million invested recently by the government into said matters, a surprising new breakthrough has emerged.
In recent weeks, it’s been revealed amber sunglasses may go a long way in treating mental disorders.
The Science Breakdown:
We all know how sunlight can assist our internal body clocks, whether we are travelling on holiday or recognising the difference between the seasons sunlight plays a key role.
On the other hand, we also know the perils of artificial light, which are exposed to us on a daily basis. This could be from mobile devices, computer or plasma screens and the like, these nasty rays do everything to pummel our peepers.
Yet new research proclaims wearing amber tinted specs could help in the fight against illnesses such as depression and even sleeping.
The best time to wear amber tinted glasses is usually at night as orange helps stop blue light from entering your eyes.
The more we are surrounded by blue light emissions including TVs and smartphones, the increasing likelihood it disturbs our sleep patterns. In this way, exposure of this nature means that it may even confuse your system after dark.
As a result of this overexposure to blue light rays, it can lead to the possibility of experiencing a host of mental related illnesses.
Is Technology to blame?
The boffins in the lab have reiterated that reducing your exposure to blue lights from gadgets and gizmos can help many improve their sleep. In this fast paced world we live in, most of us aren’t able to switch off, especially at night.
Checking those Whatsapp messages and not to mention emails means our brains are constantly being exercised. This is what scientists believe is contributing to individuals suffering from disorders including manic depression.
Several experiments have already been conducted where people wore amber tinted sunglasses at night. This is in contrast to those who didn’t, which genereated some interesting results.
In Norway there was a study of around 20 people who had been admitted with bipolar disorder. The scientists assigned a dozen with unique amber glasses and the other half without.
The results were fascinating with the amber spec wearers scoring far lower on a specific test measuring mania. In addition to this, there were significant changes in some patients wearing the shades after only three days.
According to a commentary in the publication Bipolar Disorders, Tone Henriksen, a researcher with the University of Bergen and Valen Hospital in Norway declared;
I was surprised by the magnitude of changes and the rapid onset of improvement. Even drug treatments aren’t typically known to lead to such quick and significant turnarounds.
This paper has been drawn up against a backdrop of continual research into the effect of light on our bodies. Furthermore, it has given an insight into just how significant a part light plays in the mood as well as mental health.
Meanwhile, scientists have uncovered other types of eye receptors in their extensive research. Known as “intrinsically photo-responsive retinal ganglion cells,” they have the ability to pick up blue light. Messages are then transmitted to the hypothalamus.
This connection between the body clock and eye is like no other in the system. Mood and emotions go precisely hand in hand.
At present, there is a distinct lack of research surrounding amber tinted sunglasses. Yet, some studies have shown preventing blue light makes the brain believe it is completely dark.
This trick of the mind helps to produce melatonin, a vital hormone in aiding sleep. Nevertheless, mental health illnesses are brought on by several key aspects, including too much light.
According to another study from Chronobiology International, some patients with bipolar and insomnia changed dramatically when wearing blue light blocking shades. Taking place back in 2009, many symptoms improved in a short period of time.
Other investigations have shown how putting bipolar patients in darkened rooms for up to 15 hours a day can have a significant improvement on their symptoms. Consequently one journal revealed manic like symptoms improved after being shut away in pitch darkness.
As far as other forms of light are concerned, the impact of bright light therapy on depression is well known. In some cases, it is considered to be the same or better at treating mental health disorders.
Yet light and dark therapy have some way to go before we are all reaching for our amber tinted glasses. There are different types of models produced by Uvex that were specifically manufactured in order to eradicate bright light made by blue lasers in both the dentistry and welding sector.
Whilst it may be a melting pot of studies and research some have called for more techniques to be introduced into medical institutions. But for now, it’s a waiting game as they say.
Feautred image from: Shélin Graziela