It’s common for students to pull all-nighters when studying, often without taking sufficient breaks in between. While this may seem like a reasonable sacrifice to make for good grades, you may end up regretting it later on when you start to notice health concerns, especially with your eyes.
When it comes down to it, whether you are taking a game design course or a business course, grades count only when you are in school, but your health and eyesight will enable you to do the things you love doing later in life — but only if you take care of them early on. Here are a few tips for protecting your eyes when you are studying.
Use good lighting
It doesn’t matter if you are studying in the library, in your room or pulling that infamous all-nighter, having good lighting when you hit the books is a must. When you are young, your eyes may be able to take the strain of reading in dim light, but many repeats of this behaviour could cause irreparable damage down the road. Get a soft book lamp, a headlamp or find somewhere that has decent natural light to do your studying.
Take regular breaks
Our eyes were not designed to focus intensively on tiny objects and computer screens for long lengths of time. If you have been studying for more than an hour, start taking regular breaks. Don’t worry about breaks cutting into your study time, however, because not only will the breaks give your eyes a rest so that they can focus on the texts and diagrams better, your mind will also be refreshed so that it can hold the information for longer.
Do eye exercises
There are many simple and effective exercises you can do for your eyes to keep them sharp. Some of them may not seem like exercises but function to give your eyes the equivalent of a power nap. A good exercise is to simply rest your eyes in the palm of your hands for a few minutes, making sure that no light leaks through. This total darkness is rejuvenating to your eyeballs and helps to ease the strain of focusing too much.
Another simple exercise is to look sideways, first in one direction and then in the other, holding each direction for a few seconds without straining. Then try the same exercise only looking up and down instead. This helps to exercise your eye muscles, as studying holds them in an unnaturally still position for too long.
This may come as a surprise, but eating well is very important for eye health because good nutrition helps to nourish your eyes and keep them in good condition. When studying, keep eye-healthy foods such as carrots, blueberries, bilberries and corn by your side and snack on them often.
The beta-carotene in carrots converts to vitamin A in your body and functions to repair and maintain your eyes. The antioxidants in blueberries and bilberries counteract the oxidative stress on your eyes from too much studying and optimises eye performance. Similarly, corn contains important nutrients that are specific to eye health.
Your eyes play an extremely important role and are also fantastic indicators of good overall health. If your eyes are starting to feel strained, stressed, dry or sore because of too much study, then it’s important to take steps to protect them.