A recent survey by Code Computerlove found that on average, people in the UK spend 3 hours and 23 minutes looking at screens every day. That’s 50 days every year. Wow. That’s a lot of time spent staring at our screens. With younger people spending even more time than that on smartphones and tablets, we’re all at risk of the negative effects of prolonged screen time. More and more of us are putting regular time aside to switch off our screens and indulge in a digital detox, and that’s great news.
For one thing, spending less time glued to screens can reduce headaches and our chances of developing eyestrain. It’s good practice to look at an object as far away as possible every 20 minutes when using a screen, as this helps to work our eye muscles and prevent problems such as Computer Screen Vision (CSV).
No screens before sleep
If you find yourself scrolling through your smartphone when you can’t sleep, stop. The blue light given off from our screens has been proven to disrupt our natural sleep hormones. That means we’re making it even harder for ourselves to fall asleep by turning to screens later at night.
Try switching off all screens an hour before you want to fall asleep. This gives the eyes time to take a break, and your mind time to unwind from the screen before it’s time to get sleepy. If you like something to keep you occupied before bed, try reading a paperback or tackling a crossword. It’s a good idea to rediscover your favourite ways to unwind that don’t involve screens, such as a long soak in the bath a session in your hot tub or a chat in front of the fire.
Refocus with a break from your screen
If you use a screen for work, remember that taking a break from your screen can boost creativity and focus. On those pesky occasions when you find your mind wandering while you’re hard at work, take a minute to look away from the screen and switch off your mind. Stand up for a quick stretch or tidy your desk, and the break will help you to refocus your mind on the job at hand. When you get back to work, your eyes and mind will feel more relaxed and ready to tackle the task.
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