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Time To Unplug The Gadgets And Recharge The Mind

By sleepcounciladmin on October 15, 2013

twitterWe often say we need to make ‘time to unwind’ but it seems the mantra for today should be its ‘time to unplug’.

Most of us are constantly connected – whether that’s checking mobile phones, tablets and laptops for texts, Facebook updates, or after-business-hours emails, or playing on gaming machines and computers.

But are we all too connected? According to research:

  • 91% of us keep our mobiles within three feet of ourselves
  • 84% said they couldn’t go a single day without their mobile device
  • One in three of us makes phone calls and sends or receives texts/emails in bed
  • The average person spends as much as three hours a day or more on social networks – that’s before you take into account browsing the internet!

When you see it written it down it’s scary isn’t it? Even scarier is that I’ve recently read about tech-free holidays or camps, where adults and business people (think CEO’s etc) go to digitally detox! Digital detox has even made it into the Oxford Dictionary.

Unfortunately as technology has grown the knock on effect has meant we aren’t switching off properly before bed. We’re over-wired; struggling with an information overload caused by the blurring of the boundaries between work and home lives. Studies have shown that people who use mobiles at bedtime take twice as long to drop off as the backlit light messes with their body clocks making it tough to nod off and stay asleep.

So what are the benefits to unplugging?  Well to start, you feel a sense of freedom! We need to come down from a busy day so switching off gadgets gives you a huge chance to clear your head, allows you to unwind, relax and recharge those batteries. Why not try to find alternative ways of relaxing? When was the last time you read a good book, took an indulgent bath, spent quality time with your partner or family or had some general ‘me time’?  Definitely one to ponder…

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2 thoughts on “Time To Unplug The Gadgets And Recharge The Mind

  1. Besides merely the mental stimulation by use of mobile devices at night, a more serious result is the suppression of melatonin that occurs when blue light emitted from their screens reaches the eyes of the user. Natural melatonin is known as the sleep hormone and is a major antioxidant known to aid the body in its fight against certain cancers, diabetes and many other illnesses. LowBlueLights.com now markets blue light filters for any electronic device which prevents the harmful blue wavelengths of light from reaching the eyes. Their entire line of products including sleep glasses, filters and bulbs create a virtual darkness by blocking the blue light responsible for suppressing the body’s production of melatonin. Low-blue bulbs are the only ones on the market today guaranteed to emit a harmless blue-free light which allows normal nighttime activities without the blue light contained in other everyday incandescent, compact fluorescent and LED bulbs. Extensive research on exactly how blue light suppresses melatonin is available at http://www.lowbluelights.com along with studies and news on the many health benefits of natural melatonin.

    1. I agree with Daniel: the color of the light is incredibly important. Switching to amber light in the evening has helped my sleep and overall well-being immensely. I wrote about it in a blog post recently: http://sleepjunkies.com/blog/light-therapy-insomnia/

      In addition to lowbluelights.com, other great resources are http://somnilight.com (for amber sleep lamps), http://justgetflux.com (for taking the blue out of your computer screen), and the twilight app (for taking the blue light out of your android phone), if you absolutely must be on a screen at night. However, like Lisa was saying, even without blue light factored in, we are far too over-wired from digital devices on the whole.

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