Technology has been linked to a lot of physical and mental illnesses as it becomes more of a necessity each day. Today, we cannot do anything without our phones or computers, which is a sad fact – psychologists remind everyone of its harmful effects. From working, buying, and paying the bills, everything is done through our phones and computers.
Social media also has dramatically affected the way we use technology. We often look at our screens for hours every day. Not only adults but toddlers, adolescents, and even young adults are now slowly becoming addicted to gadgets.
This over-usage of technology can significantly affect sleeping patterns amongst people. The artificial lights emitting through the screens of your computers and televisions can reduce the production of melatonin which the body needs to sleep. “Time spent on social media may be seriously undermining nightly rest,” Michael J Breus Ph.D. says.
A recent study shows that there is a link between the heavy cellphone and television usage with sleep quality and stress levels and the overall mental health of people, especially young adults. Another research was done, and 4,100 young adults answered surveys and questionnaires, and after compiling all the data, the results show that there is a link between excessive gadget use with increasing stress levels, sleep disorders, and other mental health disorders.
Here is a more detailed explanation of how excessive use of gadgets can affect sleep:
- Excessive use of cellphones shows an increased risk of developing sleep disorders in men. A higher risk of having depression symptoms can be found in both men and women.
- People who are dependent on cellphones are most likely to have mental health issues.
- Men who are always in front of the computer are more likely to develop sleeping problems.
- Constant late-night use of computers is associated with increasing symptoms of sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety in both men and women.
- Using the computer frequently and in prolonged periods without breaks increases the risk of developing stress, depression, and sleep disorders.
There is still no apparent reason why technology affects sleeping patterns of people. There is no precise study to confirm that excessive usage of gadgets and the development of stress, anxiety, and depression. The only reason that they know is that people who are using devices in an uncontrollable amount of time are those who are reaching out to family, friends, and loved ones that are far away. This has been their means of communication to know that their loved ones are safe.
We often find ourselves in this state, especially if we are parents. Children are tough to convince, and getting them to stop using their gadgets will get messy and stressful. According to Vanessa LoBue Ph.D., “Screen time can have negative effects when it displaces other activities like talking to parents or playing with peers, and too much screen time has been linked to problems like obesity and sleep disturbances.” We all want one thing, and that is to put down everyone’s phone and enjoy some quality time talking and doing activities that do not involve gadgets.
This problem has been rapidly growing and becoming more severe as time goes passes. This also has not been adequately addressed by the medical and technological communities. They are the two most responsible for finding ways so that the issues of illnesses and overuse of technology can now have a solution.
One researcher suggests that the medical community should also have advertisements that will help in reminding people of the proper way of using technology, just like companies do for alcoholic drinks. Educating people about the risks of excessive use of gadgets will get them thinking about their health.
You might think about how you can control gadget use in your home, the best thing to do is to make sure you have strict rules in your household. Also, make sure you are in control and not the gadget. Also, do not use your device and then sleep as soon as you put down your phone. Be sure to stop using your phone 2 hours before you are going to bed so you could rest your eyes before totally sleeping.
This is the same when you have children, especially young adults. You must make them understand the health problems they might develop and that you are only doing what is best for them. Facebook and other social media apps can wait until the next day.
The average person needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night to get the proper rest you need for your body to recharge, energized, and be prepared for another day. You will need sleep for restorative properties so that illness and diseases will not invade your body.
“Technology has a lot of benefits, including connecting youth to important information for homework and also a strong social network. That doesn’t mean we can’t put our devices away each night—for everyone’s sleep,” Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. wrote.
Also, never sleep with your phone next to you on your bed. The harmful radiation can affect your health. This is also for people who tend to sleep with the television or computer still running. Tv and computers should be turned off at least one hour before you sleep. Make sure you do the necessary things that will get you relaxing in no time so that you will not have time to scroll your phone.