Staring at a computer, phone or television for huge chunks of the day isn’t healthy for your eyes. As with pretty much any artificial light, each device emits blue light, a higher-energy light than that of the sun that can have a number of negative effects on the human body, including sleep deprivation, irritation, blurred vision, headaches and long-term vision problems. What’s more concerning is that none of that is likely to deter people from getting off Instagram, limiting their Game of Thrones binges or shutting off Overwatch an hour early.
So while it’s easy to say “spend less time on your devices,” it’s not quite practical now in 2017. For those interested in trying, however, The Vision Council lists a number of good practices to decrease your exposure to blue light and reduce eye strain on their website. Try to reduce overhead lighting while on your device to eliminate screen glare; increase the font size on your device; sit farther away from screens; give yourself 20-second breaks from your devices every 20 minutes. Most smartphones and tablets these days have a “night mode,” so utilize those as well. And if you’re less likely to change your habits, there are screen protectors, eyewear and downloadable software that can reduce blue light’s negative effects.
This free desktop app shifts the color of your screen to look more natural and sun-like during the day, and in the evenings shifts it to a more orange hue.
Felix Gray Computer Glasses $95
Blue-blocking glasses aren’t known to be stylish, but this pair by Uvex is a great example. Plus, they’re affordable and work well. Felix Gray takes a more natty approach; no orange lenses required.
Tech Armor RetinaShield Blue Light Filter Screen Protector $12
Tech Armor offers blue light filters for a range of gadgets, including the latest iPad Pro, Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6S. (Still waiting on protectors for the iPhone 7.) This way you can scroll through your Twitter feed in bed without lying awake for hours afterward.
GE Align PM Lighting Bulb $20
These lights produce a warm hue with reduced blue light. Best placed in the bedroom, GE says they help promote a “natural sleep-wake cycle.”