For the majority of people, smartphones are essential tools. We can use them to manage our calendars, communicate with others, and find any information we may need online. However, using your smartphone excessively, especially late at night, can be harmful in a number of ways.
A growing body of research also shows that using a smartphone excessively can worsen anxiety and depression. In addition, using your phone prevents you from spending time with your partner, kids, pets, and other important people and from fostering those relationships.
Consequently, health experts agree that people should limit their smartphone use, especially in the evening. Naturally, that’s not simple. Being without our phones, even for a short time, can be stressful because of how dependent we are on them.
If you feel you need to cut back on your smartphone use at night, the tips below can help.
– Watch how much you use your phone at night
Knowing how long you currently spend on your phone at night will help you assess whether your efforts are worthwhile a week, month, or year from now. You can keep a simple journal of your approximate phone usage hours at night, but there are apps for most phones that can generate usage stats for you.
– Review and modify your notification settings
To decrease the urge of constantly checking your phone, it’s recommended to limit the number of notifications you receive. Take the time to assess which alerts are truly necessary and disable the rest. By doing so, you’ll be less likely to be distracted.
– Make it more challenging to access your apps
Move a favorite app’s icon to a screen you have to navigate to if seeing it on your home screen makes you want to open it. Even though you only need to swipe left to access that screen, even that small amount of effort can help you recognize the grip the app has on you and give you time to fight it.
– Have someone behind you all the way
Your motivation to put your phone down and leave it there may come from hearing a friend or family member say, “Hey, you said you weren’t going to look at your phone after 7 p.m.
– Avoid charging your phone next to your bed
As you struggle to get to sleep, having your phone nearby makes it difficult as you fight the urge to check it one last time. Use an outlet across the room to charge it. In this way, it’s far enough away that you can’t just reach out and grab it but close enough that you can still hear it if someone calls you about something urgent.
– Keep in mind that apps are made to entice you
A well-liked app has everything intended to keep you interested, from the sounds to the colors to the page designs. You may find it motivating to think of this as a contest pitting the app developer’s skill against your self-control.
While smartphones have become essential tools for most people to manage their daily lives, excessive usage, particularly at night, can lead to various negative consequences, such as worsened anxiety and depression and damaged relationships with loved ones. Thus, health experts suggest limiting smartphone use, especially at night. The tips provided above, such as monitoring phone usage, modifying notification settings, and keeping the phone away from the bed, can help you cut back on smartphone usage. It’s important to remember that apps are designed to be engaging, but with some self-control and discipline, you can overcome the urge to constantly check your phones and lead a healthier and more balanced life.
Source: Hackensack Meridian Health
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