With technology at our fingertips, and easy social media features to exchange ideas and information with the world, how can we fight the temptation to put our smart phones away?
Numerous studies have shown that snuggling up with your favorite electronic devices before your bedtime can promote insomnia, nighttime awakenings, and daytime sleepiness.
E-readers, smartphones, televisions, laptops, and tablets emit a blue light, which tricks your brain into believing it’s daytime and leads you to be more alert. Additionally, blue light hinders the production of the hormone that makes you feel sleepy at bedtime, melatonin. Most sleep experts recommend unplugging at least 90 minutes before you tuck in, but for many people that task can seem impossible.
In one recent study, 71% of Americans admitted to sleeping with their smart phones nearby or inside their bed, while 35% confessed that their smart phones were the first thing on their minds in the morning.
According to Pop Sugar, the growing addiction to constantly stay connected is what led Kate Unsworth to found her company Kovert Designs, which conducts experiments to learn how technology affects our health and behaviors, as well as designs products to help us set boundaries.
Just this summer, the research team collected data on 35 entrepreneurs, CEOs and other businessmen on a trip to Morocco as they spent with and without technology. As they only spent one day inside a hotel with access to their favorite devices, followed by four digital detox days in the desert, there were some great findings:
Sleep became more efficient: The quality of the participants shut-eye received a boost, which may be the participants reported feeling more alert and rested, without sleeping long hours.
Memory improved: The participants were forced to be more present, allowing their brains to easily store more information.
Stronger relationships, better posture: More eye-contact allowed the participants to develop deeper bonds, and their open posture made them more approachable.
Creativity and significant changes toward a more positive lifestyle also appeared to be a result of less screen time, with better storytelling and re-committing to positive relationships or better overall health goals.
Try putting away your favorite devices in the evenings for a week to truly relax your mind and body before your bedtime. Beating your smartphone addiction could be just what you need to boost your overall quality of life.
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