Hate headaches and love good sleep? Healthy habits start with the screen

Hate headaches and love good sleep? Healthy habits start with the screen 

It’s dinner time and the table has green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and an unwelcome guest – the smartphone. Many families have banished this device from meals, which prevents headaches in more ways than one.  

With smart device use at an all-time high, the impacts on humans are hard to ignore. Too much screen time can lead to sleep problems and eye strain, but there are ways to avoid problems.  

Sleep Habits 

With the rise of screen usage across all platforms, medical researchers have found that scrolling the web before bed can make going to sleep more difficult, leading to the possibility of chronic sleep deprivation. That’s because devices emit blue light, which has been shown to reduce or delay the natural production of melatonin in the evening and decrease feelings of sleepiness.  

Blue light can also shorten the time spent in the deeper stages of sleep, which are vital for cognitive functioning. Studies have also documented that using blue light screens before bed can lengthen the time it takes for anyone to fall asleep. 

Eye Strain 

Experts say headaches can be caused by increased strain on the eyes or poor posture while using a screen. While working at a desk, doctors recommend positioning the screen four to five inches below eye level and about 20 inches or more away from your eyes. Keeping your screen directly in front of you can help mitigate eye strain. 

Using screens properly is important, and you may be familiar with the 20-20-20 rule to avoid eye strain and dry eyes. Just in case you aren’t, here’s a quick recap: For every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, look away to an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. For a more detailed explanation of this rule, read this article on The Exchange about reducing eye strain. 

Doctors recommend strategies to avoid too much screen time. Adjusting the blue light filter on devices is one helpful way of decreasing risk. But the best solution is to minimize unnecessary time spent on devices.  

Golden West’s Ultimate Wi-Fi service offers options to control screen time. It allows Wi-Fi access to be limited not just by time, but also by device and/or by person. While children are particularly susceptible to issues, everyone lacks self-control from time to time. The service can also help remove temptation by limiting your own access and usage. 

You can set bedtimes for your devices too. Let them dream of electronic sheep while you refresh, rejuvenate, and restore some peace with Ultimate Wi-Fi!  


Sources: Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, American Optometric Association, MedicalNewsToday, Sleep Foundation 





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