Are you always on your phone or email regardless of where you are? It happens to many of us. We are sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for an appointment or eating lunch in the break room and we instinctively pull out our phone to pass the time. Before even realizing it we are scrolling through emails or social media.
Smart phones have changed the way we live our lives. Emails, texts, and calls are always at our fingertips. We can get directions and even get the news on our phone with just a few clicks. More often than not, we are expected to always be connected and reachable to work, family, friends, or significant others There are however, many benefits in disconnecting from technology. Taking time away from screens allows for space for creative thinking and problem solving.
The average American adult spends more than five hours per day on mobile devices. One of the dangers of spending too much time on phones and computers is the impact that is has on sleep habits. The light emitted by tablets and phones also blocks the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls the sleep cycle. Checking social media or even watching a show before bed seems pretty harmless but these activities can trick your brain into thinking it needs to be awake.
When we are overly connected to our phones and emails after work, we are not allowing ourselves time to de-stress from the pressures of the workplace. Check out some helpful ideas of how to disconnect.
Ways to Disconnect from Technology
- Set specific times to check emails throughout the day
- Install time tracking applications on your phone to understand how much time you spend looking at your phone
- Turn off the TV when you are not actively watching something. Avoid keeping the TV on in the background, creating excess noise and light
- Start a bedtime routine that includes putting the phone down at least 30 minutes before bed
- Keep your phone in another room at night or turn on the Do Not Disturb feature
Sources: The Greater Good Center, National Institutes of Health, National Sleep Foundation. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource