Digital Detox

Some studies show youths age 8-18 spend about 9.5 hours per day on electronic devices – that’s a lot of time spent staring at a screen. While the internet and social media are useful and necessary in everyday life, there are consequences to using them. Research has found that the blue light from screens can disrupt sleep, the electromagnetic fields from electronics can have effects on your health, and the use of exposure can contribute to obesity in youth and adults.

So how do we learn to unplug? Here are five tips to help you disconnect:

Set a “device bedtime”

That blue light coming off your computer or cell phone screen can be detrimental to your sleep because it disrupts circadian rhythms and suppresses melatonin. A lack of sleep can cause health problems like cancer, diabetes and obesity. Try to stay off your phone or computer at least an hour before you plan on going to sleep.

Become more aware of how much you’re using electronics

Overuse of electronics – especially social media – can have a major impact on your mental health. Studies show an increase in anxiety, loneliness and depression in people with a heavy reliance on electronics. You can avoid this by limiting your exposure and putting a daily cap on the number of hours you’re plugged in.

Device detox

Using devices throughout the day can decrease those human connections people need for their mental health. Overuse of electronics can lead to a number of troubling issues. Some people have problems sleeping, reduced empathy, worsened posture, eye issues, and impaired cardiac and nervous systems. Avoid these issues by spending more time away from your device – go for a walk, play a sport, get some fresh air, meet a friend for coffee – keep busy!

Distance yourself from your device

Electromagnetic fields emitted from your device can be avoided by simply walking away from them. Put your phone down – it doesn’t always need to be in your hand or pocket!

Unplug in the bedroom

Electromagnetic fields emitted by devices in your bedroom can be harmful to your health. At night, disconnect cordless phones, turn off devices – even WiFi if you can.