Do you wake up each morning feeling like you could do with an extra hour or two before you’re ready to face the day ahead? Do you often hit the wall mid-afternoon? Do you struggle to switch off from the working day, or feel compelled to check social media last thing at night, first thing in the morning, or both?
Then it sounds like you could be suffering from technology addiction.
If you have got a tech addiction, all that screen time can throw you into a fatigue cycle, whereby your sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive and leaves you running on adrenaline, noradrenalin and cortisol
And if this is the case, your body can quickly become addicted to dopamine – the pleasure chemical in the brain that is released through stimulation, and this excitement can be brought on by anything from food to sex, or even screen time.
If you’re suffering from tech addiction, you may find you can’t go to sleep when you go to bed, or if you do fall asleep you’re completely exhausted and you then wake up tired.
The problem is your brain can’t switch off – so what can you do about it?
How to break the cycle
If you think you may be suffering from technology stress, there are four quick fixes that could soon have you on the road to recovery (and a good night’s sleep)…
- Turn off the technology an hour before you go to bed. Read books before bedtime but not e-books
- Keep your clock turned away from you at night.
- Eat breakfast – or at least something small within 30 minutes of getting up and before drinking any caffeine (try a pint of chilled water instead, this kick-starts the metabolism first thing.
- Drink at least two litres of water a day.
Keeping the kids in check
Technology addiction isn’t just a trait among those of us who work on computers all day and play on tablets all night – it can also affect our kids pretty badly if we’re not careful.
When a child is exposed to too much screen time, they’re not properly developing the part of the brain that is used for singular focus – hence they can get easily distracted and have very short attention spans – and this can have a marked effect on memory and school grades.
So it’s recommended both children and adults should have no more than two hours screen time per day (obviously, if you’ve a desk job, this will be outside of working hours) and it’s even recommended those under 12 have no screen time at all.