The sudden increase in sunlight in the spring can destabilize mood, causing mania, insomnia, agitation, and anxious energy. Dr. Aiken discusses a new strategy using blue-light blocking glasses in the evening to manage spring mood swings in Psychiatric Times:
“I recommend starting the glasses a few weeks before symptoms typically begin. To counter the rapid rise in sunlight, patients can start by wearing the glasses later in the evening (eg, 10 PM) and slowly move them up to the 6 PM to 7 PM range as the outside sun increases. The shifts should be gradual (eg by 30 to 60 minutes per week). If manic symptoms appear, move the glasses up to an earlier start time. If symptom free, the glasses could be slowly shifted to a later start time once the rapid flux in sunlight has passed.”
We sell blue-light blocking glasses at cost at our center, or you can buy them online. The best lenses are by Uvex ($8-10; make sure to get the orange pair) or lowbluelights.com ($40-50). The should not be worn before 6 pm, as that can disrupt the biological clock. They do not need to be worn during sleep, but people should sleep in a pitch dark room while using this therapy to get the best effects.
Blue light blockers also work in other seasons. Read more about how to use them in our online guides for bipolar or for insomnia.