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Can screen time cause headaches?

Do you get headaches after staring at your computer all day? Is working from home creating more stress in your life? Unsure as to why this is happening? The answer is easier to find than you’d think. First, let's discuss what is happening biologically when you stare at a glowing screen for long periods throughout the week.

The screens on your TV, laptop and phone screen have many benefits, making it easier to work long hours from home, earn more money online and enjoy entertainment at any hour. Why are they giving you such a headache?


Artificial light is a stimulant, meaning it wakes us up and keeps us more alert. In fact, artificial light has a similar effect on the body as caffeine. Just like consuming a cup of coffee in the morning, artificial light raises cortisol (the stress hormone) making us feel more alert and awake. This can be a good thing... and a bad thing.

On one hand, if we need more energy, turning up the lights and the brightness on our screens will increase cortisol and stimulate us, keeping us awake during the day. On the other hand, chronically raising cortisol levels can have a negative impact on just about all aspects of our health. Remember: most disease is related to stress.

When you’re working from home at your computer screen all day or watching TV for long periods of time with bright overhead lights, you will have chronically raised levels or cortisol, leading to inflammation especially in the eyes and head. This inflammation then leads to eye strain, chronic fatigue and headaches. Chronically elevated levels of cortisol (stress) will also lead to higher levels of anxiety, making it harder to stay focused on your work or anything else productive.

The quick fix? Use blue light glasses that work with a proper yellow tint (like these SocialLight Glasses) to block the strain from blue light. You want to be able to enjoy the benefits of screen-time while mitigating the downside of potential stress and inflammation. You can also double down by installing a free software like F.lux which adjusts your monitor to less aggravating warmer colors, and set your devices to “Dark Mode” which converts apps to a darker tone that is easier on the eyes. Next time you need to work online, be proactive and pop on your SociaLight blue light glasses before the screen-time headaches and stress begin. Your brain and body will thank you.

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