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health  |  educational, health, sleep

Feeling blue? Turn off the tech

health  |  educational, health, sleep

Feeling blue? Turn off the tech

Feeling blue? Turn off the tech

How often do you fall asleep at sunset? We’re willing to bet the answer is almost never. If you’d been born a few hundred thousand years ago, however, it’d be a very different story. The daily lives of our ancient ancestors couldn’t be further from the ones we know - and this meant their sleeping patterns were very different, too.

They slept when their bodies told them to, and with only the sun and their small evening campfires providing light, their circadian rhythms (AKA body clocks) worked largely in tandem with the day-night cycle. Today, our customary eight-hour working days leave us stretching out our evenings for long as possible; we watch television, scroll through our social media feeds, surf the internet and get stuck into ebooks. But although our lifestyles have u-turned from caveman-style, our bodies’ natural processes haven’t.

Many of the electronic devices we use emit blue light - a type of short-wave light that’s one of the most disruptive when it comes to nodding off. It’s not such a big deal if we’re exposed during the day, as the sun actually gives off blue light as well, although too much staring at screens can lead to headaches and blurred vision. But after hours this type of light suppresses our melatonin production (the sleep hormone). Without enough melatonin, our bodies are tricked into thinking it’s daytime, leaving us wide awake when we should be out for the count. And so, unlike our ancestors, we end up suffering from insomnia and sleep deprivation.

This is where our friends at Ocushield come in. Their medically-rated tech filters block out blue light while keeping your displays crystal-clear, so you can enjoy restful sleep even after that late-night Instagram scroll - with no retro orange tinge that built-in ‘night shift’ software can cause. You can get them for your smartphone, tablet and laptop, and they’ve even got glasses kitted out with filtering lenses. The best bit? They’re offering Simba fans a very special 25% discount. Visit ocushield.com and enter SIMBA25 to claim.

We’ve also rounded up five other ways you can avoid overexposure to blue light:

  1. Avoid bright screens between two and three hours before you turn in - unless you’re protected by Ocushield, of course!
  2. Expose yourself to bright light during the day. This will boost your mood, alertness and ability to drop off later on.
  3. Dim the lights in your home a couple of hours before bed to mimic sunset. Or, invest in smart lights and set them to a warm hue in the evenings.
  4. Just keep blinking. We’re more at risk of dry eyes when using our electronic devices because our blink rate drops significantly.  Try to remember to blink more often and you’ll help your eyes feeling fresh.
  5. Go back to pages. Backlit e-readers beam blue light directly into your eyes, so choosing a print book for your night-time read will prevent this.

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