4 Benefits of Limiting Screen Time That You Will Want to Know About
Benefits of Limiting Screen Time
In 2020, US consumers spent an average of four hours a day on their smartphones alone. That excludes TV screen time, online classes, or laptop-based meetings. It also represents a three-hour spike from the previous year.
As you might have guessed, the stay-at-home orders had a lot to do with that increase.
Now, screens are no doubt a major source of information and entertainment. However, there are many benefits of limiting screen time, too. The keyword here is “limiting,” which means you don’t have to give it up, but you don’t have to stare at it too long, either.
On that note, we compiled this guide discussing how trimming screen time can do you a lot of good. Read on to discover how it can keep your eyes, body, brain, and even relationships healthy.
1. Prevent or Ease the Signs and Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) also goes by the name digital eye strain (DES). It refers to many eye- and vision-related issues that arise from prolonged screen use.
According to some studies, as many as one in two computer users experience DES signs and symptoms. Researchers also say it’s even more prevalent in those who look at screens for six hours or more.
Eye discomfort, dryness, redness, and itchiness are some of the common symptoms of CVS. The longer your screen exposure is, the higher the odds of your vision getting all blurry, too. In many cases, DES can even trigger headaches.
As CVS is a direct consequence of screen use, limiting screen time can lower your odds of getting it. If you have to spend more than six hours on it due to work, you should at least do the 20-20-20 eye exercise. Simply look away from the screen every 20 minutes to direct your gaze at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Since you already spend a lot of time in front of a screen for work, it would be best to cut your personal screen time, too. You don’t have to deprive yourself, but you should at least try to cut back little by little. You might even get so used to it that you’ll be fine with a 30-minute after-work screen time.
2. Keep Sleep Problems At Bay
Some people who fall asleep with the TV still turned on think that watching helps them fall asleep. However, it’s not the show that lulls them to slumber; it’s their tired brain that forces them to sleep. For others, background sounds relax them enough to let them drift off to dreamland.
Unfortunately, staring at screens well into the night disrupts the body’s internal clock. The artificial light emitted by screens also impedes the body’s melatonin production.
Melatonin, in turn, is a hormone that controls and regulates the sleep cycle. Its production starts when it gets dark, preparing your body for what it hopes to be blissful sleep. Any extended exposure to light, especially artificial light, hinders this process.
So, the longer you stare at a TV, computer, or gaming console screen, the harder it will be for you to fall asleep. That’s why it’s best to cut your screen time at least one hour before you sleep.
If you rely on your MacBook or smartphone for background sound, avoid playing videos on it. Instead, you might want to learn how to convert an m4a to mp3 so that you can play audio files on any non-video device. This can help trim your screen time but still give you a way to play music to help lull you to sleep.
3. Restful Sleep Is Key To Good Physical and Mental Health
Sleep affects the entire body, all the way from the brain down to the toes. That’s why you’d want to take steps on how to limit screen time; otherwise, you may be at risk of severe sleep woes.
For starters, lack of sleep, be it acute or chronic, can impair memory and other cognitive functions. Sleep deficiency can also lead to behavioral changes and even mood disorders.
Moreover, not getting enough sleep all the time can affect your immune functions. Scientists even found that this can heighten your risks of developing colds.
Inadequate sleep can also contribute to chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. It can also make you gain or lose weight. These health woes can then affect your feet; for instance, diabetes can give rise to foot ulcers.
Sleep deficiency also elevates stress levels, which further makes all those symptoms worse.
By contrast, people who sleep well tend to have better health and lower body fat content. Their cognitive functions are also often sharper compared to those who lack sleep. They feel better in general, thanks to the restful sleep they get at night.
So, as early now, commit to turning off your screens and electronics an hour before bedtime. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, you should at least turn its Wi-Fi or data off. This can help lower your odds of checking something online while you’re in bed.
4. Encourage Eye-To-Eye Conversations at Home
Are you familiar with the term “phubbing?” It’s a portmanteau of the words phone and snubbing. Researchers say it’s now common in social settings, and that likely includes your home, too.
Phubbing, or whatever young folks like to call it, is rude and shows a lack of etiquette. It can also be bad for relationships, both professional and personal. At the core of this issue is that no one wants to speak to someone who doesn’t even look them in the eye.
So, if anyone in your household has phubbed you or told you that you phubbed them too, it’s time to limit screen time. Setting screen time schedules are even more important if you have kids. This way, you guys can start enjoying speaking to each other with your gazes directed at one another.
Start Reaping the Benefits of Limiting Screen Time Today
As you can see, there are many benefits of limiting screen time, from reduced eye strain to better sleep. The better you sleep, the better your brain can function. Plus, limiting screen time can help you nip rude phubbing habits in the bud.
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