Intro to Blue Light Overkill, Eye Strain, and Burnout
By Joe Campo
As you’re sitting in front of your computer (or on your phone) reading this post, sure, you know blue light is coming from your screen. But look around. Where else is it coming from?
Are your lights on? How about the tv? Are you sitting in front of a window?
If yes to any, you’re exposed to a whole lot of blue.
But not all blue light is bad. Blue light that comes from the sun is essential for health. Blue light is only bad when it’s not balanced with red light.
When is blue light good?
Blue light is great during the day. Our bodies are tuned to make good use of it from sunrise to sunset.
Here’s what a measurement of daylight looks like.
The problem is, for anyone who makes a living on a computer, the following is likely the dose of light they get.
Heavy on the blue, to say the least.
This leaves people who work hard—often the hardest—regularly looking very intensely at their screen. Straining their eyes. Rubbing their eyes. Dealing with weird blinking habits. Starting to see blurry. Getting migraines. And lastly, just feeling exhausted before it’s time to call it a day.
I know this well because it was the story of my life for a while. Working anywhere from 10 to 16 hours per day. Two computer monitors. Texting whenever I had a free minute. At the end of the day, work was getting done but I was beating myself up. How long could I sustain working like this?
Not much longer.
That’s because too much blue light throws off our hormones.
Blue light is a stress hormone activator. With too much blue light, stress hormones are overactive. Overactive stress hormones leaves us feeling tired and overrun.
Often times, sleep can feel like it was barely a nap.
In short, blue light overkill has wide-ranging effects. It hits more than the eyes. Brain power and overall energy take a hit, too.
So, how do you fix it? Balancing light. Similar to the way a bread maker might carefully weigh the ingredients of her morning’s work, balancing light prevents blue light overkill. That means no strain, no headaches, and no early exhaustion. It also means better concentration.
This is what balanced light looks like for anyone who works on a computer.