Night Owl Eye Strain – How to relieve the eye fatigue

  • You’re a night owl and do your best work in the early hours of the morning but what does that mean for your eyes?
  • How to relieve some of the eye fatigue

I come alive at night. I’m such a night owl – Mpho Koaho

If you’re a night owl, you’re not alone. And, as time goes by, we spend more time sitting in front of our screens studying, reading, working, networking or just enjoying downtime with Netflix.

While the time spent at night being creative or just getting into the zone is more productive for most night owls, eye fatigue can quickly set in and become a big problem. There are several reasons your eyes could be taking on too much strain during the early hours of the morning, the biggest culprit being insufficient lighting.

So let’s talk about late-night eye fatigue, night owl.

Think about the times that you do your best work? Are you sitting in a well-lit area or do you have dimmed lights? Is the primary source of lighting coming from your computer screen? If so, you’re probably straining your eyes and exposing them to too much blue light. If you’re not giving your eyes a well-deserved break from blue light, you’re damaging them in the long run.

So how can a night owl like you (and me) relieve eye fatigue?

Try to prevent rather than relieve. Focus first on the things you can do to reduce the amount of strain on your eyes during the late-night work sessions.

  • Don’t look at a screen for too long. If it’s at all possible, do your best to interchange activities and balance the amount of time you spend looking at a screen with something else. Try to read a book instead of an article online. Write notes on a piece of paper instead of on your phone or your laptop.
  • Give your eyes a well-deserved break. Close them for a minute or two every hour.
  • Try the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Focus better with good lighting. But be sure to reduce the amount of glare that you’re getting from your screen.
  • Use blue-light-blocking glasses to limit the amount of blue light your eyes absorb during the night.
  • Drink water and snack on foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids and beta carotene.
  • Consider using eye drops to keep your eyes hydrated. Be sure to ask the pharmacist for their recommendation.
  • If you wear prescription specs, check with your optometrist to see that your prescription is right for your eyes.

It’s also vital to understand that very often, eye-related issues stem from the brain. If you’re tired and overworked, your eyes will feel it immediately. Even though you may do your best work at night, your body and brain still need rest to function well.

Relieving General Eye Fatigue

Thankfully, most eye fatigue isn’t something you have to stress over. That said, it’s a great idea to get routine checkups to be sure that your eyes are in good shape.

Quick things you can do right now to relieve some of the strain

  • Closing your eyes for a minute or two
  • Press a warm damp cloth against your eyelids
  • Switch off the air conditioner or the heater as this can dry out your eyes even more.
  • Wear anti-glare glasses or ensure that your working space is well-lit with no glare on the screen.
  • Take a much-needed break!

Night owl, there’s nothing like those peaceful hours of the morning to get into the zone and do your best work, or write your award-winning article, or paint your most inspired piece in the collection, but take it easy and look after the body that you have to live in. If your eye fatigue persists, have it checked out.