Whether you’re looking to increase productivity at work, feel happier in your relationships, or simply save time, you may be surprised at the difference unplugging from technology can make. Sometimes, the answer to plugging into your life is simply taking a little time to unplug.
It Helps you Sleep Better
A healthy amount of sleep is the cornerstone of productivity and health. Without it, we couldn’t live and we couldn’t function properly in our daily activities. Sleep is not a hindrance—it is an essential part of life that helps your process information from your day, problem solving for real life, and focus your mind. Distractions from our smartphones and tablets while in bed can interfere with this vital activity. This happens for two main reasons: one being that when we stay up late on our iPhones in bed, we begin to associate bed time with phone time. You plan on going to bed 10pm, but you may come upon an article of interest that will keep you up reading. Or, you may be one to fall into the rabbit hole of clicking from one Youtube video to the other until it is suddenly 2:30 am. Another obstacle technology presents to your sleep cycle has to do with the light that emanates from it. Blue light is known by sleep scientists to mimic the light of the sun and tricks the body into believing it should stay awake. It will stop the production of melatonin, and disrupt your circadian rhythm.
Your Sleep Plays Into Your Looks
Ever noticed that your skin takes on a sallow appearance after a night of no sleep? Maybe you struggle with acne blemishes on the regular. When we sleep, our body rebuilds itself; without the proper amount of rest, your skin can’t replenish. Why? First you have to consider the skin blemishes in themselves. What are whiteheads? They’re essentially clogged pores that have filled with dead skin cells and bacteria. So how does sleep help? Exhaustion can blunt collagen formation, and increase inflammatory conditions, making those little pores fill up with oils and become inflamed—voila, a pimple forms. Simple tip: turn on the nighttime setting on your phone, which will decrease blue light, and turn off notifications before bed so you don’t get woken up.
Improve Your Relationships
Many people admit that the use of social media can feel somewhat isolating. Internet addiction—the extreme—will cut off people from the natural world and impede face-to-face communication. Social media has the power to make us feel a sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and burden us with the pressure to keep up appearances. This doesn’t mean that social media should be avoided, in fact, it can be a great tool for networking. Nonetheless, addiction to social media can inhibit our ability to form meaningful relationships and create feelings of isolation and depression. Those feelings, however subtle, can impede your ability to perform at work at your full capacity. Disconnecting from the internet from time to time will allow you more time to invest with the people around you. Try going out to dinner with your friend or partner but put your phone away. Putting your phone facedown at the table without the vibration on will get rid of distraction so you can connect with the person in front of. In addition, you could put your phone away when you are at the bar or a get-together, so that you can meet new people. Practicing face-to-face social engagement will improve your performance at work by making you a better communicator; being able to communicate ideas, confront someone maturely, and build important relationships.
You may not be able to live off the grid completely, nor may you want to, but taking time to unplug is a healthy practice. You may find yourself both physically and mentally healthier, which will better prepare yourself for your workday and personal life in one fell swoop. Improve your life by taking the time to connect with others, to rest, and to take care of your body.