Take a break from technology: Digital detox improves sleep and reduces stress

8. 5. 2023

Digital technologies are an integral part of our lives. They are becoming tools that allow us to connect with the world, get information and communicate with other people. However, we are increasingly encountering problems such as lack of concentration, anxiety, depression and insomnia, which are caused by the overuse of technology. The solution to these problems can be a digital detox – a short-term reduction or complete withdrawal from technology.

Scientists have recently found that digital detox has positive effects on our bodies and minds. According to a report by the American Psychological Association, a digital detox can reduce stress levels, improve sleep, increase productivity, and help us avoid the constant strain on brain function that comes with technology use.

Digital detox and the positive effect on sleep

A study published in the journal Sleep Medicine found that using digital devices before bed has a negative effect on sleep quality. During this study, 20 adult participants were banned from using mobile phones and tablet computers for three nights. Results showed that, on average, participants fell asleep faster and had longer sleep when they were not exposed to digital devices before bed. Similarly, research published in the Journal of Sleep Research found that exposure to blue light emitted by digital devices can negatively affect sleep. In this study, participants were divided into two groups: one group was exposed to blue light for three hours before bedtime, while the other group was not exposed to any blue light. The results showed that the group that was exposed to blue light had lower sleep quality and lower levels of melatonin (a hormone that helps regulate sleep) than the group that was not exposed to blue light.

Digital detox and the positive effect on stress

A 2019 study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology showed that limiting social media use for a week can lead to a significant reduction in feelings of loneliness and depression in young people. Here, digital detox was shown to have a positive effect on improving mood and mental health. Research from 2020 published in the Journal of Health Psychology showed that digital detox can lead to significant reductions in stress and anxiety in people who spend a lot of time online. Here, it was shown that limiting the digital environment helps reduce the number of stimuli people are exposed to, which can lead to less stress and anxiety.

Here are 3 tips and recommendations on how to do a digital detox:

  1. Set goals and plans: decide how much time you want to spend without technology and what results you expect, so you can then evaluate everything.
  2. Look for alternatives. For example, you could read a book, go for a walk, play a board game or hang out with friends.
  3. Stay positive: Be patient and remember to enjoy what the digital detox brings you. It can help you find new sources of joy, creativity, energy and take control of your relationship with technology.

It’s important to find a balance between the digital and non-digital worlds to make your life full and happy. We hope that with this article, you will give digital detox a try and maybe even start applying it regularly. Let us know how the digital detox has affected your sleep and mental well-being.

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