How to save your eyes. And brain.


It hurts to look at my phone. It hurts to not look at it.

Like most people addicted to their smart phones, I have an extremely bad habit of ‘just checking’ my phone just before I go to sleep. Four hours later.

I have an equally bad habit of shutting off the phone alarm in the morning, and squint-reading every single update that has been posted in the last 8 hours.

This leaves my eyes perpetually sore and sensitive to bright lights. And screens. Many articles online tell me just how bad this is for my brain, as well as my eyes:

Smartphones Ruin More Than Your Sleep — They May Also Be Destroying Your Vision

Why the light from your smartphone is keeping you up at night, & what to do about it

Avoiding late night screen usage isn’t always an option. Sometimes, you have a crazy client deadline, or it suits your body clock to work late. 

The latest issue of Wired talks about being aware of the chemistry of your body to find the best time of day to be productive for different types of tasks (although I’m not sure I could get away with a nap in front of the client!). And many people have different circadian rhythms, often depending on age:

My 21 year old son likes to research and write late at night and can find the small hours more creative, whereas by that time I can’t keep my eyes open. Except to watch TV and waste time on the internet, obviously.

So, if I have to ‘work late’, I find that using f.lux on my MacBook Pro hugely reduces eyestrain:

Reduce Eye Strain and Get Better Sleep by Using f.lux on Your Computer

I’m just waiting for f.lux to be available for the iPhone and iPad (without jailbreaking - something my son may or may not have experience with). 

Or, even better, developing more disciplined bedtime habits.