Nobody blinks or breathes anymore.
After months of my sweet boyfriend making fun of my squinting, I finally made a visit to the eye doc. I’ve had pretty good eyesight and wear a light prescription, but I knew something had changed (teaser: it did) and I have also experienced some issues when traveling.
When I’m on the road for upwards of 8-days, I inadvertently find myself to and from via the dry-air capsule of an airplane (as I am as I draft this), a dry hotel room, and then a dry meeting room with terrible fluorescent lighting and usually no windows staring at my computer screen for close to 72 hours in a week. So glam, right? This is opposite of my home schedule, since I work in the kitchen, have windows, usually take a break to cook lunch, etc.
But by day 3 or 4, in the hotel, I would wake up with terrible twitching and sometimes experience completely shut eyes and blurred vision. Lovely. I found some eye drops that help with computer fatigue that had made a difference temporarily, but what a pain in the butt those are.
Upon visiting the optometrist, she shared with me a recent study about blinking. We used to blink 14,000 times a day and now, between all of the screens in our lives that number has reduced to: 8,000 times a day. I also did not know that a lack of eye blinking leads to lack of tear ducts, which in turn leads to a lack of serotonin, THE vital function that leads to sleep. I’ve noticed sometimes my eyes don’t close always at night and I don’t sleep as well as I should. The doc said my eyes are definitely dry and not producing the amount of tears needed. They were strained, tired, and, dry.
I realize that we’re all told extended blue light leads to depression, increased anxiety, and the like, and it also disrupts our sleep. But since we don’t live under a rock, and we’re capable humans, we can choose ignorance over bliss or to do something about it.
I had decided on the latter and knew there had to be a better way. I began seeing blue blocking glasses with lenses that help with computer eye strain and a friend of mine highly recommended. I went home and ordered a v. cute pair of computer glasses from Pixel Eyewear to test. They aren’t prescription but promised to help with fatigue and glare.
After a 10-day trial on the road, I am happy to report this was the FIRST time I didn’t have tired eyes that were glued-shut upon waking up, or were tearing-up in the afternoon. And no annoying twitch, either! The Pixel computer glasses had worked, and continue to work. When I want to scroll insta at 9:00 p.m. before bed, I feel, well, less bad. My eyes are now less tired, less strained. I am so impressed.
This blinking-less scare had me also thinking about breathing as I sat there in the ever-sterile doctor’s office chair: I wasn’t really breathing. Check yourself right now—do you find yourself holding your breath as you read this?
I guarantee every fitness class you step into from yoga to spinning to everything in between reminds you to “breathe.”
Now think about this for a second: society is walking around more tired than ever from lack of blinking and on top of that, everyone is so stressed they aren’t breathing. No wonder we’re dubbed “walking zombies.”
Meditating has proven crucial to my morning routine as I set aside 3-5 minutes to, only breathe. It’s a moment of the day that sets a tone after my workout, and is a signal to my brain that we are ready to go.
Breathing and blinking bring a sense of homeostasis. They are two integral functioning areas of the body that, well, aren’t hard to change. It takes a bit of practice, but if we can blink more, sleep better, breathe well, relax our shoulders, wouldn’t society be a better place to work and live?
Pixel is offering SweatNet Readers $10 off a pair of frames. Use the code pixelxsweatnet. Offer valid until August 31, 2018.