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Lived in Review: True Dark Classic Sunglasses

* Shades that promote restful sleep
* Red tint helps counteract the effect of screens and artificial lighting
* Comfortable, padded frames

If you have trouble focusing on the screen or if too much screen-time is affecting your ability to sleep at night, you might want to consider throwing on a pair of glasses. But these aren’t just any regular pair of specs. True Dark’s Classic Twilight Shades are billed as a “24-hour solution to combat junk light,” filtering out harmful rays from artificial light sources like computer screens, florescent lights and TVs. The goal: but blocking out the distracting junk light, you’ll reduce eye strain, increase energy and focus. By the time you head to bed at night, your eyes will be relaxed and ready to doze off.



True Dark says they use a “patent pending technology to improve sleep quality” and it starts with these not-terribly-awkward-looking frames.
The experience promises rest and relaxation, which is exactly what the True Dark shades are for: they are essentially sunglasses you are supposed to wear at night, not to make a cool 1980s goth fashion statement — though they could work for that too — but to facilitate brain relaxation in a melatonin-like fashion.

The reddish tint of the lenses is meant to ease the transition to sleep and helps counteract the stimulating and anxiety-inducing blues of all the artificial light we saturate our worlds with, from phone screens to the efficient but spectrally-narrow indoor lighting so many of our homes come with.

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The trick, as I found when using them, is to pair the True Dark shades with a certain level of, well, true dark. The first time I tried them on it was about ten o’clock at night and I had just been watching Stranger Things. For those not familiar with the Netflix hit, Stranger Things is a mixed bag as far as late night insomnia goes: it has both soothing childhood nostalgia and nerve-racking suspense. I tried on the True Dark shades with the TV still on and the kitchen fluorescent lights on, too, and I found the sudden redness to be almost startling, like entering another dimension or the sepia film tone you see in flashback sequences sometimes.

After a while though, especially after turning off some of the lights, I found that the True Dark glasses actually helped create a relaxing, sleepy ambiance. The trick to the glasses seems to be getting used to them: the second night I tried them, knowing what to expect, they worked like a charm. I didn’t even have to take melatonin, as I often do, especially when going straight from staring at a computer screen to trying to sleep.

It was a little strange to be sleeping with glasses at first, but they’re pretty lightweight and fit pretty tightly (I.e. they won’t shift or fall off if I toss and turn a bit). The lenses are a bit narrow, and they won’t fit over your existing prescription glasses, but it’s not that big of a deal – after all, you’re not using these glasses to see or read, you’re actually just trying to coax your eyes into falling asleep.


Sleep researchers suggest limiting your time looking at screens 30 minutes to an hour before bed, and that if you must look at your phone (that’s me!) use the night mode or night shift. My iPhone lets me schedule an automatic night shift, which is actually helpful, and I found that using the True Dark shades extends the “night shift” effect beyond the phone screen and into the world around you. If you tend to work on your computer, watch TV or play games until bedtime, the True Dark shades are a great way to wind down.

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, there are a number of products now that promote a restful night, from sound machines to eye masks. Consider adding these True Dark glasses to your nighttime arsenal as well.

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