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Top steps to follow for better health with a nightly technology detox

Corey Loehr
January 14, 2023
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Technology addiction|technology addiction

Though we all have our nighttime routine, technology addiction has become a significant problem, such as scrolling on our phones or watching TV before shutting our eyes. But have you stopped to think that maybe all of this late-night screen time isn’t good for you?

Your daily habits may affect your mental, physical, and emotional health for technology addiction purposes and your recovery speed for conditions like illness and burnout. Here’s what you need to know about the effects of technology on your nighttime routine and how you can take back control of your sleep hygiene.

Why is technology bad for your health?

Technology can be an excellent way to make your life easier.  It can make you feel much calmer by reducing the stress you feel in the moment by providing a distraction or outlet for expression. However, an excess can put your body under a lot of pressure. 

Many stress away their sleep by watching the news, preventing them from recovering from their day with proper sleep and rest. One of the causes of technology addiction is watching late-night television, which can cause excessive stress and weaken your immune system,  so your body cannot fight off threats properly.

Blue light is also an essential factor in the effects of tech on your health. In excess, blue light may damage the retinal cells in your eyes, causing vision changes. Some research also suggests that technology addiction can affect your brain by reducing your ability to produce melatonin naturally and disrupting your natural sleep-wake cycle.

These disruptions can cause your body to lose its natural ability to recover from daily stresses, meaning that your recovery times for more significant illnesses or injuries will increase dramatically, taking you out of your routine for much longer than you may want.

How to change your routine to better control technology addiction

Controlling your routine is a process that can be broken into a series of steps. So, how to break technology addiction? Ideally, the entire process should start about 3 hours before going to bed – but when time is short, a 30–60-minute advance should be enough. Here is what you need to do.

1.     Set a bedtime and technology shut-off time

Though it may sound childish, having an established bedtime is necessary for a healthy nighttime routine.  Adults need roughly 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to achieve their best daily function, though this time varies from person to person. Training your body to fall asleep at a particular hour can help mitigate problems of slipping into dreamland.

How to stop technology addiction? Set an hour that will lead you to get the appropriate amount of sleep. Leading up to your set bedtime, you can set up a shut-off time for technology. For example, if your sleep time is at 11:30, you should consider shutting off all devices at 8:30 – or at least 10:30 if you can’t help it. This “wind-down time” will help your body bounce back into its circadian rhythm, and it can be one of the solutions to technology addiction.

2.    Avoid the technology-packed room

A technology-packed room can contribute to the development of teen technology addiction. This is because the constant presence of devices and easy access to the internet can make it difficult for teenagers to resist the temptation to engage with technology excessively, negatively impacting their mental health and overall well-being. Suppose you find technology addiction challenging to fight and the temptation to leave the television on for background noise or check your phone for the time. In that case, your routine should avoid those pieces of technology altogether. Leave your phone or laptop in the living room and keep TVs and another distracting tech out of your bedroom.

3.    Use paper media to get rid of technology addiction

We get it; it’s not your bedtime yet, and you are bored. You need something to occupy your time with before you go to sleep. You better get pen and paper media to control your technology addiction problem. This will reduce your blue light exposure.

Try reading a newspaper or, better yet, a book before sleep. This may allow you to fall asleep faster and get better sleep overall.

4.    Check technology with purpose

Even after the technology “curfew” kicks in, you may still need to use your phone now and again. Perhaps you got an essential email that you cannot put off or need to check on loved ones.

Only use technology during your cutoff time if you have no other option. If your reasoning is boredom or simple curiosity, you can write down what you want to use your technology for and return to it in the morning. Otherwise, reserve this time for your mental and physical health. 

Technology addiction: the bottom line

Creating a nightly technology detox routine may be challenging, as breaking any habit is, but it is not impossible. Once you eliminate the technology addiction problem, your body will naturally fall into its rhythm. You will be able to sleep better and reduce your stress, helping you improve your nightly recovery.

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