I sit in front of a screen most of my day as a developer. After work, I sit in front of a screen while taking an online course or playing video games with friends. Before bed, I lie down in front of a screen to watch YouTube or read articles.
Maybe this sounds a lot like you. In fact, it probably sounds like a lot of people.
I've experimented with several ways to reduce or replace screen time: reading physical books or on my Kindle, turning down the blue light on my phone at a certain time, or even avoiding screens altogether in the evening.
None of these methods stuck.
What worked for me was actually an Amazon purchase: a pair of Cyxus blue light blocking glasses. I can say without a doubt that this is one of the best purchases under $50 that I've made.
Blue Light Blues
What is blue light? Without going too much into detail, it's a color of light on the visible light spectrum. In fact, it's also the shortest wavelength of light on this visible spectrum and as a result contains the highest energy.
More energy means greater attention and alertness. The flip-side is that too much exposure close to bedtime negatively impacts our circadian rhythm by reducing the secretion of melatonin.
Sleep and Mood
It's not like I didn't already know that blue light wasn't good for me right before bed. I figured that I was sleeping fine already though and that it wasn't that big of a deal.
I was wrong.
I started to sleep better than I had in years. I couldn't remember the last time that I popped in and out of REM sleep that frequently. That first week I woke up each morning feeling like a different person. In fact, several times I woke up before my alarm went off.
Within days I noticed that my mood improved substantially. I felt sharper mentally and less irritable.
The most important thing is to protect your eyes. A pair of blue light blocking glasses works for me, but maybe f.lux will work for you. Quarantine has most of us cooped up inside all day, and we can't seem to pry ourselves away from our work desks. That means more time focused intently on a screen, especially if you're software developer like myself.
The best thing to do would be to take some time away from the screen. The next best thing, in my humble opinion, is a pair of blue light blocking glasses.