Beat digital and screen overload

The use of digital screens among adults and children is very high.  Some adults use screens all day and then come home and watch TV or spend time on their phone all evening too.  Children are coming home from school and going straight on screens and are often staying on the screens for the much of the evening.  The effects of overexposure to screens can be detrimental to our health – here’s how it can affect us, and a few ideas of how to get off the screens…

  • Mental well-being. Over use of social media sites can be linked to anxiety and depression.  This may be down to the comparison and feelings of inadequacy when comparing yourself to perceived lives of others.
  • Sleep disturbances. Your sleep can be affected by a smartphone or tablet.  The blue light emitted can interfere with the production of the sleep induced hormone, Melatonin.  Checking messages just before bed can also over-stimulate your brain and affect your sleep.
  • Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant and can help protect against cancer, so maintaining optimum levels of Melatonin is vital.
  • Your family life. Spending too much time on screens can reduce the amount of quality time you spend with your family.  Why not put the screens away and get out a board game instead.
  • Adopt the digital 5:2 rule. Why not spend two days a week tech free?  Why not take one evening a week and one day at the weekend and make it screen free?  Find other ways to spend your time and entertain the children.  You will feel more energized and so will the kids.
  • Invest in an old-style alarm clock. Instead of taking your phone to bed, invest in an old-fashioned alarm clock and leave your phone downstairs, removing the temptation, the wi-fi and the blue light just before bed or on waking.
  • Get the family onside. Have a chat with the family and friends and get them involved.  Play their favourite games, listen to some music and dance.  You could try a reward system to get them started…