If you want better sleep, improved mood during the day, and enhanced focus, a pair of the best light therapy glasses might make sense for you.
Many folks turn to light therapy lamps, also known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder) lamps when Winter months turn darker.
However, many people don’t have the time to sit in front of a stationary lamp for 30 minutes to an hour.
That’s where light therapy glasses come in.
Easy to wear during your morning routine and equipped with optimized light spectrums, these portable products are perfect for those looking to boost performance.
In this post, we will explain what light therapy glasses are, their benefits, and the best lighter therapy glasses available on the market today.
Let’s look into it!
Best Overall: Luminette 3 Light Therapy Glasses
Most Portable: AYO Light Therapy Glasses
What Are Light Therapy Glasses?
Light therapy glasses are specialty eyewear designed to emit bright light to mimic natural daylight.
These glasses use LED lights to project light onto the eyes, often filtering out certain wavelengths.
Light therapy glasses were originally developed to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that worsens during the darker winter months.
The bright light from the glasses aims to reset the body’s internal clock and boost mood-regulating hormones like serotonin by simulating morning daylight exposure.
Light therapy is also used by people who don’t have SAD but want the focus and energy benefits of light exposure.
Unlike light therapy lamps that sit on your desk or table, light therapy glasses deliver light directly into your eyes to target light-sensitive cells.
This makes them portable and convenient for use anytime, anywhere.
Most models block peripheral light, so the full spectrum LED light shines directly onto the eyes without glare.
Benefits of Light Therapy Glasses
Research indicates that light therapy glasses can provide a range of benefits:
- Improve mood and energy – Studies show light exposure boosts serotonin, dopamine, and other hormones that lift mood and increase alertness and motivation. Light therapy glasses may help with low energy and seasonal depression.
- Enhance focus and productivity – The bright light signals the brain to be more alert, which can enhance concentration, learning, and work performance. This is why light therapy is often used for ADHD.
- Regulate circadian rhythm – The light can help reset your body’s internal 24-hour clock to match the natural daylight cycle, which regulates hormones and sleep. This is beneficial for jet lag, shift work, and sleep issues.
- Reduce eye strain – The adjustable and direct light can reduce eye fatigue from computer use and reading. The glasses may also filter out blue light that disrupts sleep patterns.
While more research is still needed, many users report light therapy glasses to provide sustained mental and visual benefits over light therapy lamps.
The key selling point is that they are convenient to wear and use, particularly for busy parents or working professionals.
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Best Light Therapy Glasses
- Emits blue-enriched white light
- Founded in 2006 with 100k+ users since
- Classified safe for eyes (Standard IEC62471)
Alternatives to Light Therapy Glasses
While light therapy glasses provide a convenient hands-free option, there are some alternatives to consider.
Light Therapy Lamps and Boxes
Light therapy lamps and boxes have been used in clinical settings for decades to treat seasonal affective disorder.
These stationary devices emit a bright, white light at 10,000 lux or more to mimic natural daylight.
Most provide a wider and more diffused light source than wearable glasses.
Light therapy boxes allow you to conveniently get light exposure while reading, working on a computer, eating breakfast, or doing other stationary activities.
Using them for just 30-60 minutes per day can boost mood and energy levels. They are generally safe and non-invasive but should not be used by those with certain eye conditions.
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Dawn simulators are devices that are placed on your bedside table and programmed to gradually light up, mimicking the sunrise.
The light intensity slowly increases over 30-60 minutes before your desired wake-up time.
This gradual light exposure helps reset your circadian rhythm and internal clock, signaling to your brain to prepare for waking up.
Using a dawn simulator makes it easier to wake up and may boost mood, focus, and energy levels.
However, dawn simulators only provide light exposure in the morning.
They don’t give you the benefits of bright light throughout the day like light therapy glasses or boxes.
Natural Light Exposure
Getting outdoors in natural sunlight is always beneficial for light exposure and circadian rhythm alignment.
Letting in more natural light indoors by opening blinds and curtains can also help.
However, natural light exposure isn’t always consistent, especially in the winter or if you don’t get outside much.
How do light therapy glasses work?
Light therapy glasses use LEDs to project bright light that targets light-sensitive retina cells connected to the brain’s hormone regulation.
Are there risks or side effects?
Potential side effects include headache, eye strain, nausea, and irritability. Discuss use with an eye doctor, especially if you have an eye condition.
How is the light different from regular glasses or sunlight?
The lenses filter UV rays and emit bright, full-spectrum light at specific wavelengths that are energizing.
When should the glasses be worn?
Most recommend 30-60 minutes after waking. Can also use it during the day for an energy/focus boost, but avoid it before bedtime.
How long until I notice benefits?
Benefits may be noticeable within weeks, but full effects often take 4-6 weeks of consistent use.
Do light therapy glasses work?
Studies show light therapy effectively treats seasonal depression and improves mood, energy, and focus in most users.
Are light therapy glasses covered by insurance?
Insurance rarely covers light therapy glasses currently, but you can submit a claim. Light therapy is an approved SAD treatment.
What are the disadvantages of light therapy?
Potential side effects, inconvenience, eye strain, or damage risk if improper use. Light therapy alone is not a cure for mental health disorders.
Do you close your eyes during light therapy?
No, eyes should be open and gazing towards but not directly at the light source. Closing the eyes blocks the beneficial wavelengths.
Is light therapy legit?
Yes, decades of research prove light therapy is an effective medical treatment, especially for seasonal depression.
What is the best time of day for light therapy?
First thing in the morning helps signal alertness. Can also use midday for an energy boost. Avoid before bed.
How many times a day can you use light therapy?
Experts recommend just once early in the day for 30-60 minutes. Too frequent use can cause side effects.
What month should I stop light therapy?
You can reduce use in spring and summer when there is more natural daylight unless you use it for other benefits like focus.
Can I use light therapy all day?
No, prolonged use increases side effect risks. Limit use to the recommended single morning session of 30-60 minutes.