Screenlife: The Science and Simple Fixes

Computers, tablets, smartphones, tvs, and interior lights emit artificial high energy visible (HEV) light. Different than light that comes from the sun, artificial light has a large imbalance between harmful HEV rays and healing red light rays.

Working on a computer ain't as easy as it looks

From the first second to the last spent in front of a digital screen, blue light kills retina cells. As a way to nourish damaged cells and regenerate new cells, brain cells are disrupted to repair the retina. This explains the increasing level of tiredness and brain fog as the day goes on.

Did you know: By getting outside for an hour at sunrise or sunset exposes us to red light which allows our cells to enter a natural state of regeneration—helping to clear brain fog and restore the you you want to be.

The average person spends 11 hours per day looking at a screen

Even that doesn't sound like enough... Regardless, digital screens are powered by red, green, and blue (RGB) LEDs. And it's day in and day out exposure to blue's short, high-energy wavelength is what slowly causes vision loss.

It starts with subtle squinting when exposed to blue light. Next comes eye strain or headaches. If ignored, a change in sight will likely occur—resulting in cloudy or blurry vision. From there, the eye can develop astigmatism (change in shape and focus).

Did you know: Since we spend so much time exposed to harmful light, monitoring the light that goes into your eyes makes a huge difference in how you feel while working—and when you're done for the night. For ways to do this, check out the f.lux app and Advanced Eye Amor.

Every morning is another opportunity

In the morning or not, when we check our phone, we get a solid dose of blue light. Since blue light stimulates our pituitary gland, stress hormones are released into the body. And if there's one place being stressed is pointless, it's in bed.

Different than the days of our ancestors (the cave people) who used stress hormones to survive the wild, we have a build up of stress hormones in our system due to excess blue light exposure. This build up leads to anxiety, energy crashes, weight gain, adrenal cortex issues, problems in the gut, and a dysfunctional endocrine system.

Did you know: Just by leaving our phones outside the bedroom prevents our eyes and brain from losing power before the day starts. It's a setup for days with less stress and more clarity.

Our bodies are always trying to tell us something

Sometimes, fatigue can come over us like a dark cloud on a sunny day. But it turns out, sudden tiredness is often the work of light—unbalanced light.

Unbalanced light occurs when there's a significant difference between the light entering each eye. This most commonly happens when at 90° with a light source. For instance, a lamp on one side of the room or sitting with widow light hitting just one side of your face. In order to interpret the different light information, our brain needs to use a lot more power—often leaving us confused as to why we're so exhausted.

Did you know: As long as we're not getting direct sunlight to the eye, spending working hours facing a window helps our eyes relax and brain perform its best—leaving us undisturbed, sharp, and focused.

It's on us to listen to mother nature

Through hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, the sun has trained our bodies to be in sync with it. This daily cycle is called our body's circadian rhythm (aka: our internal clock).

This rhythm is controlled by a specific balance of hormones. These hormones regulate how our bodies function and how we feel. The only problem is, staying awake long after sunset requires man made light—which has a high concentration of blue light. Blue light suppresses the pineal gland which controls our master hormone, melatonin. And by deactivating the mechanism that controls melatonin, our immune system gets shut down and we can't rest well.

Did you know: Aside from any conflict it might cause with our modern day lifestyles, waking at sunrise and sleeping shortly after sunset are ideal benchmarks for a healthy circadian rhythm. If that's a stretch, being aware of your blue light intake after dark is the first step to limiting the time you spend exposed to light that throws off your system.

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