We've all have those long stretches of staring at a screen for way too long...whether it's an important email, essay, or even a Netflix binge. Technology has progressed immensely and allowed us to stay connected wherever we are. During COVID-19, more than ever before, we rely on technology to keep us connected with family and loved ones.
One of the most common side effects from being glued to the screen for too long is the dreaded eyestrain. Dry eyes, blurred vision, and even headaches.
One way to combat this is using the 20-20-20 rule developed by the American Optometric Association. The rule is simple: after 20 minutes of looking at a screen, look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
This may help your eyes not to feel as strained when you're having prolonged exposure to screen time.
You knew we were going to address sleep in this blog...but don't fret. We'll give you a solution.
Looking at a screen that emits blue light can disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle. Blue light has a stimulating effect on the brain which is why it can wreak havoc on your sleep.
In fact, a study conducted by PNAS in 2014 showed that exposure to blue light actually disrupted the body's circadian rhythm and made people feel less alert the following day.
While they say to simply stop using electronics a couple hours before bedtime to combat this problem, this isn't realistic for most.
One option many have found useful is turning on the "night mode" setting on our electronic devices. However, even this is not often enough and some devices such as TV's don't have this feature.
This is where blue light blocking glasses are very useful and can prevent the disruption of our body's natural circadian rhythm. These glasses are relatively inexpensive, stylish, and can even be fun to wear as a fashion accessory.
One woman's experience in Good Housekeeping may help you decide if they're right for you:
There is no doubt technology has made our lives easier and more efficient in many ways. But it does come with side effects to our bodies. If you are looking for ways to combat these effects, consider the aforementioned options so you can still enjoy those late night Netflix binges.
We'd love to hear your experience with too much screen time and how it affected you in the comments below.