When you work on the computer, do you sometimes feel sleepy? It’s a common problem, and there are a few possible reasons why it happens. In this post, we’ll explore some of the reasons why people get drowsy when they’re using a computer, and we’ll offer some tips on how to stay alert while you’re working. Stay tuned!
Can looking at a computer screen make you sleepy?
Staring at a computer screen for long periods of time can absolutely make you feel sleepy and tired. In fact, there is even a name for this phenomenon: ‘computer fatigue’ – otherwise known as ‘screen fatigue’.
Why do you get sleepy when on the computer?
There are a few different reasons why being on the computer can make you feel tired:
1. Eye strain
Using a computer for long periods at a time (more than two hours per day) can cause eye strain which leads to feelings of sleepiness.
When we are reading on a computer screen (or phone screen for that matter) our eyes have to work harder to read and focus on the text, as it is harder to focus on the lit up screen than it is on paper.
When we are focusing on a monitor we can even forget to blink. Staring causes dry eyes as we don’t get the natural moisture from blinking. This can make your eyes feel fatigued and lead to sleepiness.
If you do a lot of computer work, your eye muscles have to work hard to maintain focus on the screen, and this can even lead to something called computer vision syndrome.
Computer vision syndrome
Eye fatigue caused by screen time which leads to eye symptoms such as eye strain, watering, redness, blurred vision or double vision is known as computer vision syndrome. This can also cause headaches and general symptoms of fatigue.
A leading cause of why you end up feeling tired after a long day sitting at the computer is the mental energy and concentration it requires.
For many of us, computer work can be mentally draining as it requires us to focus for long periods of time. This can lead to feelings of exhaustion, even if we haven’t physically exerted ourselves.
So if you find yourself feeling sleepy after a long day at the computer, it’s not surprising – your brain is telling you it needs a break!
Read also: Why does my desk job make me tired?
3. Blue light disrupts sleep
In addition to causing eye strain, the blue light emitted from computer screens can also disrupt our sleep patterns.
Exposure to blue light in the evening can prevent us from feeling sleepy and make it harder to fall asleep at night. This is because blue light suppresses the production of melatonin – the hormone that makes us feel sleepy. It can also affect the neurotransmitters in our brains and lead to cognitive problems.
So if you’re finding it hard to sleep at night after a long day spent staring at a computer screen, the blue light could be to blame!
Another common cause of feeling sleepy when on the computer is dehydration.
When we are concentrating hard, we can forget to drink enough water throughout the day. This can lead to feelings of fatigue as our bodies become dehydrated.
Dehydration can also cause headaches, which can add to the feeling of sleepiness.
5. Sitting time
Staying alert can be difficult when you are sitting still for long periods. The human body is not designed to sit still for long hours, and doing so makes our brains think that our bodies are at rest and should be getting ready for sleep.
If you are sitting at a computer all day, try to take regular breaks to move around and get your blood flowing. This will help to keep you feeling awake and alert.
Read also: Why do I feel sleepy in meetings?
6. Neck strain
Another common cause of feeling sleepy when on the computer is neck strain.
Sitting in the same position for long periods can lead to muscle strain in the neck and shoulders. This can cause pain and discomfort, which can make it difficult to concentrate and make you feel sleepy.
To avoid neck strain, make sure your computer screen is at eye level and take regular breaks to stretch your neck and shoulders.
In summary, there are a few different reasons why being on the computer can make you feel sleepy. These include eye strain, concentration, blue light exposure, dehydration, sitting time and neck strain. If you find yourself feeling sleepy after a long day at the computer, try to take some breaks and move around to keep yourself awake and alert.
How to combat computer vision syndrome
If you find that you are suffering from eye fatigue while using the computer for long hours, there are a few simple steps you can take to feel better.
Make sure the glare on your screen is minimized. You should work in a well lit room, without light shining directly on the computer screen.
Computer glasses can also help reduce eye strain and glare during computer use.
Using eye drops or artificial tears can help keep your eyes feeling fresh. Also, try to remember to blink often to keep your eyes moist and prevent them from drying out and becoming more tired.
Most importantly, take breaks often! Get up and walk around every 20 minutes or so to give your eyes a break from the computer screen.
Take a few minutes to focus on something far away, or even close your eyes for a bit.
Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Adjust your screen settings
If you can, adjust the brightness, contrast and font size on your computer screen to make it more comfortable for your eyes.
Get a comprehensive eye exam
If you find that you are still struggling with eye fatigue or vision problems after trying these tips, it’s time to see an eye doctor. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam to find out if you need glasses or have any other underlying vision problems.
Read also: Why do I fall alseep watching videos?
How can I stop falling asleep when working on the computer?
If you start to feel sleepy when working on the computer there are a few simple things you can do to keep yourself feeling refreshed:
By far the best way to stop falling asleep on the computer is to take regular breaks. Get up and move around every 20 minutes or so to keep your body and mind from getting too sleepy.
If you can, take a brief walk outside for some fresh air to really wake yourself up. Otherwise, take a short break to get a drink of water or even just do some basic stretches at your desk.
Keep a glass of water on your desk and try to remember to take a drink regularly. You can always combine this with taking a break every 20 minutes. Once per hour refill your glass, and take a drink every break.
Use eye drops
If your eyes feel dry or strained, using artificial tears or eye drops can help to refresh them. This can help to keep you feeling more alert and awake.
Adjust your screen settings
If you find that you are struggling to keep your eyes open while working on the computer, try adjusting the brightness, contrast or font size of your screen.
Adjust your workspace
Make sure that your chair and computer monitor are set up correctly for you. You should be sitting around arm’s length away from your screen, and it should be positioned at roughly eye level, or slightly below eye level to avoid neck strain. Ensure that the lighting in your office is bright enough but not glaring on your screen.
Get regular exercise
One of the best ways to keep from feeling sleepy during the day is to get regular exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, or a mix of moderate and vigorous exercise if you can. This will help to keep your energy levels up and make it easier to stay awake during the day.
Physical activity has benefits for both our bodies and our minds, and can help combat the effects of prolonged use of computers.
Reduce your overall screen time
Too much screen time can be detrimental for our health and wellbeing, so if you are working on a computer in the day it makes sense to avoid screens in your leisure time. Reduce your phone screen time and TV watching, and instead try to take up other hobbies such as walking and reading.
Read also: Why do I get sleepy reading books?
Conclusion: Why do you get sleepy when you are on the computer?
There are a number of reasons why you may feel sleepy when working on the computer. It could be due to eye fatigue from staring at the screen for too long, or it could be because you are not taking enough breaks. It is also important to have a well-lit and comfortable workspace, and to reduce your overall screen time.