I grew up before smartphones were a day to day thing and now it’s practically impossible to survive without one. We’ve all heard that scrolling endlessly before going to sleep is a bad idea, and frankly, I’m starting to notice the effects in my own life. More and more studies are confirming our phone’s negative impact on our health to the point that it’s getting hard to ignore.
It’s one more thing that makes it harder to sleep.
My mind takes forever to shut off at night, especially after a busy day. If I don’t lay down and focus only on sleeping, I’ll stay up for hours thinking about any and everything and scrolling through my phone in the process. I don’t need one more thing to keep me up at night in addition to all of the other reasons I’m not sleeping, and my phone is the biggest offender. That being said, it should be the first to go.
It’s damaging to your vision.
I spend my day at a computer screen so my eyes get enough damage from that alone. Why do I think just because I leave my computer at home that looking at my phone isn’t just as harmful? That blue light on my phone can have some severely damaging results overall, such as macular degeneration, which over time can damage light-sensitive cells within the retina. Honestly, I’ve noticed my eyes aching a lot more and that says enough to me.
It can heighten depression.
I’m a person that has really struggled with depression for a lot of my life. I have control over it mostly now but come to find out there is a link between staying up late on my phone and a depressive mindset. If I can’t sleep, I tend to get on my phone to pass the time, but this usually works against me. I end up being more tired, more irritable which just infuses my depression and that’s an extra element I don’t need.
If I’m not sleeping, I’m usually eating.
I find if I stay up late, I’ll wander into the kitchen out of sheer boredom and mindlessly eat something not so great for me. There are hormones affected by my phone’s screen that assist with the nightly cravings so it’s best for me if I just leave my phone out of the equation. By doing this, I may actually get some rest and I don’t wake up the next day feeling guilty about eating an entire jar of peanut butter.
It can lead to breast cancer, apparently.
This one sort of shocked me because I honestly don’t see the correlation between the two but study after study is popping up showing that exposure to light at night reduces the secretion of melatonin and there is starting to be some evidence, though it’s early on, that relates this to some cancers, mostly breast and prostate. Even if the testing is early on, it’s a risk that I don’t want to take.
It hurts your memory.
I have enough trouble remembering things, I don’t need something else to cloud my memory. Light exposure at night not only assists in sleep deprivation (which completely inhibits my ability to remember anything some days) but hormones that can hurt memory in general. I want to be sharp and I need to be to live a productive life. I don’t want anything standing in the way of that.
If my memory sucks, I won’t be able to learn as much.
I work for a living, as most do, and I need to be able to take in information and retain it in order to perform my job duties as well as most daily tasks in life. I’m constantly craving education and love taking in new knowledge. I rationalize sometimes that by looking up mindless things on the internet on my phone at night, I’m doing this, but really I’m just looking at social media and doing my brain a huge disservice in the process.
I’ve to be proactive about it.
The change is going to start with me. I know all the risks and I know that I mostly choose to pretend they don’t exist. I justify checking my email before bed when that kind of thing can always wait until the next morning. The luxury of having smartphones is that everything is at your fingertips and this can be a great thing, but just because it is all there and easily accessible, doesn’t mean I should put my health at risk over it. The email can wait, the Facebook notification (probably) isn’t going anywhere. A good night’s rest will have more benefits overall than seeing the latest update from someone.
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