Digital Detox: How it Can Impact Sleep, Relationships, and Well Being
Let’s Delve Into The Pros Of A Tech Break
How many of us are guilty of looking down at our phones during a conversation or binge-watching a new TV show until the late hours of the night? Whether we like it or not, technology is an integral part of our lifestyle, and it’s become the norm to have a smart device stuck to you at all times. Televisions, smartphones, laptops, and more, can unknowingly take up a decent amount of our time and attention.
However, have you ever wondered how that affects our health and personal relationships? Most of us never think about that but today we’re going to delve into the ways technology affects our lives in more ways than one and how it can actually help you to take a digital break.
Improves quality of sleep - When you’re lying in bed on one of your digital devices or watching TV before bed, the quality of sleep you’re getting can actually be affected. How? Because it can increase your alertness and wake you up rather than calm you down. For example, coming across upsetting news right before you go to bed or browsing through social media can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest as your mind is occupied with other things. Putting down the device a few hours before your bedtime will allow your mind to fully relax and enter stage one of the sleep cycle. Although your phone or another digital device may seem inviting, you should prioritize quality sleep as it can boost your mood, and promote better overall health and happiness.
Increases hours of sleep - It can be tempting to binge-watch an entire season of a new Netflix series, and while you can get away with that once or twice, doing it often means you are missing out on precious hours of shut-eye. A solution to this can be to space out your shows. Try to refrain from binging an entire season in one day and try watching a few episodes every day instead. That way, you aren’t compromising your sleep. TV isn’t the only thing that can hinder how many hours of sleep you get. Things like watching videos on social media, listening to music, playing games, or reading on your phone can also become an issue if you let it get out of hand.
Increases attention and personal time - Taking a break from technology can do wonders for couples. Evidence shows that couples who are on their devices more often than not spend less quality time together. This is problematic because, for some people, quality time is their love language. Setting aside a day or even just a few hours away from your devices will allow you to focus more on having a good time with your significant other. This also doesn’t just apply for romantic relationships, but familial ones as well. Anyone that you care about in your life deserves to have your undivided attention during certain moments. Setting down your phone can help greatly improve a relationship because you’re letting them know that you care about what they have to say.
Reduces arguments and disagreements - This directly relates to the paragraph above. Sometimes if you’re on your phone during times when your attention is needed it can cause arguments and disagreements. Instead of watching a movie with a loved one, or having an intimate dinner, you are now fighting about your technology usage during inappropriate times. A digital detox will help avoid some of these conflicts as you won’t be tempted to look at your device. While a technology break will look different for everyone, try to invest in the process wholeheartedly. If possible, turn off your devices and put them in a box in your home. That way, you won’t be tempted to check notifications, answer emails, etc.
Better overall health - Technology can affect aspects of your life that you never even considered before. Did you know that overconsumption of technology can affect fertility in men? If the answer is no, that’s okay as most people do not know this. Digital devices can reduce sperm count and cause erectile dysfunction (ed) in men making it hard to conceive. While there are ed medications men can take, it’s only a temporary fix, so limiting screen time occasionally is highly encouraged. Another surprising effect technology can have on overall health is obesity. It’s been found that too much screen time can take away from time spent being physically active resulting in weight gain.
Reduces exposure to blue light - At this point, most people have heard of this term. But for those of you who need a refresher, blue light is the high energy light emitted from digital devices like smartphones and laptops. This visible light has a high frequency that has been found to negatively affect everything from your eyes, your sleep pattern to your chances of conceiving. With that being said, as you pick up your phone before bed the light emitted can irritate the eyes and eventually cause macular degeneration. Not only that but blue light can also influence the quality of sleep by delaying and sometimes blocking the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep.
One of the biggest takeaways here is that while technology isn’t all bad, you still can benefit from taking some time away to enjoy the people and things around you.
It may be difficult at first, but once you start, your sleep, health, and relationships will thank you for it.
Not all thoughts and opinions are my own. Outside resources had inspiration towards this article.