Are You Having Trouble Sleeping? It Could Be Digital Eye Strain.

Are You Having Trouble Sleeping? It Could Be Digital Eye Strain.

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a condition that affects many people who spend long hours staring at computer screens, mobile devices, and other digital displays. It can cause symptoms such as eye fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. While digital eye strain can be an annoying and uncomfortable problem on its own, recent research has also found a link between digital eye strain and sleep dysfunctions. Let’s explore the connection between digital eye strain and sleep and discuss tips for reducing your risk of developing digital eye strain.

Why Is My Sleep Affected By Blue Light Exposure?

The blue light emitted by digital screens is the primary culprit behind the link between digital eye strain and sleep problems. Blue light has a short wavelength that can penetrate deep into the eye and disrupt the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin is essential for regulating our sleep-wake cycle and helping us fall asleep at night. When our exposure to blue light is high, especially in the evenings, it can suppress the production of melatonin, making it harder for us to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Research has shown that people who spend long hours in front of digital screens are more likely to experience sleep problems than those who don't. A study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that participants who used electronic devices before bedtime took longer to fall asleep and had poorer quality sleep than those who didn't use electronic devices. Another study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that teenagers who spent more time on electronic devices had a higher risk of sleep problems, including difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, and feeling tired during the day.

So, what can you do to reduce your risk of developing digital eye strain and sleep problems? Here are some tips:

  1. Use the 20-20-20 rule: To reduce eye strain, take a break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a chance to rest and refocus.
  2. Adjust your screen settings: Adjust the brightness and contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain. You can also use a blue light filter or night mode to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by your screen.
  3. Take regular breaks: Make sure to take regular breaks from your screen every hour. Get up and stretch, walk around, or do some eye exercises to help reduce eye strain.
  4. Avoid screens before bedtime: Try to avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime. If you must use them, use a blue light filter or night mode to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by the screen.
  5. Use proper lighting: Make sure your workspace is properly lit to reduce eye strain. Avoid using your computer or device in a dark room, as this can increase eye strain.
  6. Get enough sleep: Make sure to get enough sleep each night to help reduce your risk of developing sleep dysfunctions. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  7. Use blue-blocking lenses: Try a pair of eyeglasses with blue-blocking lenses if your digital eye strain symptoms persist. These lenses cut down on the amount of blue light that’s absorbed by your eyes while using a computer or watching TV.
  8. Consult with an eye doctor: If you are experiencing persistent eye strain or sleep problems, consult with an optometrist. They can provide recommendations for reducing eye strain and improving your overall eye health.

Sleep Better By Reducing Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain and sleep dysfunctions are closely linked, and it's important to take steps to reduce your risk of developing digital eye strain and sleep concerns. With the right steps and care from your optometrist, you can help protect your eyes and get a better night's sleep.

Preventing digital eye strain is increasingly important for those who use screens all day, but even those who do not will often also benefit from blocking blue light and protecting themselves from digital eye strain. If you continue to suffer from digital eye strain symptoms such as headaches, blurry vision, and sleep disruptions contact our Calgary eye doctors and let us help you get the relief you need. To schedule a digital eye strain assessment, call Specs In The City at 1-403-252-2020 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: Can digital eye strain cause permanent damage?
A: The long-term ramifications of the extended overuse of screens are yet to be understood. More than ever before we are working from home, completing school on online platforms, using smartphones, and spending a large majority of time online for entertainment purposes. It is becoming more frequent for people to experience issues linked to digital eye strain which can not only create the need for vision correction but can also be masking symptoms of more serious eye conditions.

Q: Do blue light glasses make everything look a different colour?
A: No, the blue light-blocking filter does not make your computer screens or the rest of your vision appear to be a different colour. Most blue light-blocking glasses that are available look the same to wearers as their regular glasses would, with no change to colour at all, but with reduced digital eye strain and potentially less glare from screens. If you have any other questions about blue-light-blocking glasses, you can ask our Calgary optometrist clinic here.

Q: Can you wear blue light glasses all day?
A: Yes, there are no negative side effects associated with wearing blue-light-blocking glasses all day. In fact, you will protect your eyes even more from the harmful effects of blue light, especially those emitted by the sun.

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