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why I started sunnies

One night earlier in March, I was sitting in bed with my fiancée when I finally emerged from the wormhole that was my phone and noticed the time.

We looked at each other, sheepishly realizing that we had unintentionally spent that past hour silently scrolling through our phones without exchanging a single word.

What were we doing?!

In the past, we used to be intentional about that time. We would catch up about each other's days, or read the same book together, or at least watch a show on TV and experience it together. But somehow, over the past several weeks, our nightly routine had devolved into individual phone time. 

This year has been stressful for all of us. We are served constant updates about pandemic, the election, the economy, and all sorts of other tragedies. On top of that, as life as we know it as largely shifted to the virtual world, we have no choice but to turn to TikTok, Instagram, and our friends' social media accounts to stay connected.

Our nightly routine had just become individual phone time.

Prior to the pandemic, my iPhone told me my average screen time hovered around 3 hours. Now it's at about 5 hours a day. And that's just my phone - it doesn't count for all the hours I spend at my laptop, reading my Kindle, watching TV, or even staring at my Peloton screen.

I'm not the only one. A recent study has shown that 80% of people have seen their screen time increase during the pandemic, by as much as 50%. 

My screentime has increased from ~3 hours a day to almost 5 hours!

I'm not a doctor or an optometrist, so I am not going to sit here and make bogus claims about eye strain. I honestly have no idea if excess screen time is good or bad for your eyes, although I certainly have my opinion. 

What I did notice though, was how it was affecting me. I constantly felt anxious. My mind was always racing, reacting to one thing and the next thing. When I closed my eyes to sleep at night, I felt like I couldn't control my mind or wind down. My brain was processing too much information. My sleep was lower quality and my attention span was dropping. The constant intake of information and stimulation from my phone was impacting me.

I needed an escape. I didn't like that I started and ended my day on my phone. I needed a way to turn off all the external stimulation for a few minutes and just let my mind wander.

 I didn't like that I started and ended my day on my phone.

That's when I thought of sunnies. I first tried a similar product during a school trip to Japan and remembered being a little surprised that I had never heard of it before. They're such an easy product to use - all you do is open them and put them on. After a couple minutes, they heat up and warm your eyes for about 20 minutes. They're simple, quick, and effective.

Here's how they work: the masks contain small, sealed "heat cells" inside of them that contain an iron powder + water. When those are exposed to air (i.e., oxygen) they create heat. It's literally what happens when metal rusts, except because of a couple of additional ingredients (vermiculite, activated carbon, and salt) the reaction is sped up, controlled, and safe. 

Self-heating eye masks are a great way to force yourself to unplug. They literally cover your eyes and the heat they generate feels great and automatically leads you to a relaxation state. 

I looked at my own life - my over-reliance on technology, the constant stimulation, and my zombie-like lack of intentionality - and I knew that other people had to be dealing with the same issues. 

So, I decided to launch sunnies because I felt like I had finally found a problem that was worth solving and that impacted me personally. They're affordable (~$2 a mask) and easy to use, and I speak from personal experience when I say they really did improve my quality of life. You don't have to use them every day, but a bit of self-care and affordable luxury a few times a week really makes a difference. 

I felt like I had finally found a problem that was worth solving and that impacted me personally.

If you see us in your Instagram or Facebook during your daily scroll, check out our website and order some of the product. Hopefully after that, you'll be be able to #stopthescroll