A recent study uncovered a direct link between the yellowing of the eye’s lens and insomnia. The study evaluated participants (970 in total) using a lens autofluorometry, a non-invasive method that determined how much blue light was transmitted to the retina. And because blue light plays a crucial role in regulating the brain’s melatonin levels – which directly affects one’s daily sleep-wake cycle – subjects with lower levels of blue light were more prone to sleep disturbances.
Volunteers were considered to have a sleep disorder if they confirmed that they “often suffer from insomnia” or if they purchased prescription sleeping pills within the last 12 months.
But what was causing these individuals to filter out blue light?
As the lens of the eye becomes more yellowed it filters out more and more blue light. This yellowing occurs naturally as we age and may explain why sleep disorders become more frequent with increasing age. It also may explain why smokers and individuals suffering from diabetes mellitus also experienced higher rates of sleep disorders. Diabetes and smoking have been linked to the pre-mature yellowing of the eye’s lens,
Currently, the only known way to effectively reverse the yellowing process and thus possibly to improve sleep is through cataract surgery.
If you have any questions about what you have just read, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Samuel Boles and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today!
Led by Dr. Boles, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers complete ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.
Can’t Sleep? Maybe it’s due to cataracts. Blog.VisiVite.com
Cataracts Could Cause Insomnia in the Elderly Ivanhoe.com