You’re looking at a glowing screen right now, as you read this. That’s the first step towards screen fatigue. And after that, you’ll read an email on the same device, you’ll send a few texts, check Instagram, then Twitter, then Facebook, then you’ll read an article, then you’ll actually do some work, with a few more distractions peppered in.
Later, before bed, you’ll shuffle through these things again, in between Netflix shows. All that screen time is causing something called digital eye strain. Digital eye strain has become increasingly more common from hours of staring at computers and phones all day.
But it doesn’t stop there. Some research has linked too much blue light exposure, particularly at night, to insomnia because the blue-light sensitive molecules in the retina are also responsible for setting our body’s circadian rhythm.
Here are a few pointers on how you can fight back screen fatigue:
Look Away from the Damn Screen, Every Now and Then
Look away from the screen every 20 minutes, at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds or more. This will help the eye muscles relax and help prevent symptoms of eye strain from excessive screen time.
Make Your Text Bigger
Increase the text size on your devices, so that you aren’t squinting so much to read each little letter.
This will keep your eyes lubricated. Some doctors even suggest posting a note that says BLINK! on the computer as a reminder. This is because you standard blink rate is about 15-20 time per minute, but this dramatically decreases by up to half when staring at a screen.
Dim the Screen
Especially at night. That brightness is one of the biggest offenders. Turning down the brightness, to the point where one can still see clearly, can help minimize the discomfort of nighttime screen viewing.
Some researchers recommend limiting exposure to blue light or screen time approximately an hour before going to bed to minimize any disruptions in our sleep cycle. If you wear glasses, get a pair of blue-light filtering specs.