I’ve been a pretty good sleeper for most of my life — like the kind of sleeper who, when uninterrupted, will peacefully slumber until 2 p.m. no matter what time she goes to bed — but something changed after I moved to New York City a few years ago. I can still sleep a full day away no problem, but actually falling asleep has become a major issue for me. It might be that the city is never really quiet, or that the sky never gets completely dark here, or just the constant, nagging stress of being an adult (OK, yeah, it’s probably that last one), but I’m now well acquainted with the prolonged torture that is tossing and turning for hours, willing your mind to shut the fuck up so you can at least enjoy a few hours of sweet oblivion. Which is why I was excited to try out Felix Gray’s brand new Sleep Glasses.
You probably know Felix Gray as the brand that made blue light-blocking computer glasses look cool. Now, Felix has moved on to specs that will help you get some shut eye, available in non-prescription, prescription, and reading lenses, in the full range of Felix Gray frames. The Sleep Glasses, which are supposed to be worn in the hours before you go to sleep, are backed by the 2019 Sleep Better Report, a research report commissioned by Felix Gray and executed by YouGov, which found that many of us spend hours before bed with our eyes fixed on blue light-emitting screens. Meanwhile, medical studies have found that blue light suppresses melatonin, that chemical produced by our bodies that helps us fall and stay asleep. Which explains...a lot.
The Sleep Glasses do feature a noticeable orange tint to the lenses, but according to the brand, that won’t stop users from seeing true color while wearing them. Still, I wasn’t totally convinced that blue light was such a huge problem for me personally — my iPhone and MacBook both have Night Shift set to turn on at sunset — so I didn’t foresee any major differences in my regular routine of insomnia after using the glasses, which Felix Gray sent me to try out.
It just so happened that the day the glasses arrived in the mail preceded a screen-heavy night for me, making for perfect testing conditions. I slid on the Sleep Glasses (mine are the decidedly cute Faraday frames in Burnt Amber) promptly after arriving home at 7:30 p.m., at which point I cooked myself dinner while also semi-watching The Office. Starting at 8:30 p.m., I settled onto my couch to watch the grueling three-hour season premiere of The Bachelor (Reminder: This is not a forum for dragging my taste in television), while also doing some work on my laptop and occasionally checking my phone like the true multitasking millennial that I am. For the record, the orange-y tint of the glasses is noticeable when you’re wearing them, but it didn’t really bother me, considering I was home alone, nor did it distort the color of anything I looked at as far as I could tell. By midnight, it was lights out for me. I took off the glasses and waited for sleep to gently wash over me as I imagine it does to infants and non-anxious people — and shockingly, it did.
Subsequent nights of wearing the Sleep Glasses played out in a relatively similar fashion. Over time, I’ve realized that the glasses don’t necessarily make me more tired than I normally would be. Instead, I would describe their effect as a very subtle feeling of eye relaxation, as opposed to the sensation of squinting or straining against bright blue light (yes, that includes the light from the TV) when I’m sans glasses. It’s not so much that I’m magically falling asleep quicker, but more that my eyes have already been winding down for the night behind the lenses’ orange tint before I shut off the lights.
There are obviously a lot of factors that could play into why someone gets a good night’s sleep or not. But if the Sleep Glasses are having something, anything to do with me getting a more restful 8 hours these days, I’ll happily slide them on any night.