With people spending more time at home, it is easy to binge watch TV, spend countless hours surfing online, playing video games, and using our electronic devices to pass the time. However, overuse of these devices can cause problems sleeping.
The problem stems from our body’s inability to transition into sleep because the hormones that help us fall asleep are not being released as they should. The blue light that is emitted by electronic devices suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormones. Furthermore, even once we fall asleep, we may not stay asleep throughout the night because our brains are being overstimulated by electronics.
One of the more common side effects associated with the overuse of electronics is electronics addiction. This type of addiction makes it difficult for us to put the devices down, shut the TV off, and just spend time disconnected and “offline.”
To find out if you may have an addiction to electronics, ask yourself the following:
- Do you use your smartphone or tablet while eating meals?
- Are you on multiple devices, like watching TV and posting to social media on your phone?
- Do you experience feels of panic when you cannot find your phone or tablet?
- Do you get upset or angry when someone else intervenes and shuts off the TV or takes away your phone or tablet?
- Do you experience sweats, chills, or shakes when you haven’t used electronics for several hours?
- Do you have problems socializing and interacting with others when you cannot use your devices?
- Do you sleep with your phone or tablet and leave the volume on to respond to text messages and social media posts at night?
- Is playing video games more important than intimacy with your loved one?
If you answered yes to one or more of these, then you may have an electronics addiction.
How Can I Overcome an Electronics Addiction?
The first thing you need to do is admit you have an addiction to electronics. The next thing you should do is schedule an appointment with a qualified counsellor that can provide guidance and assistance in overcoming your electronics addiction.
Counselling will help you set boundaries and limit your electronics usage. For example, you could create a personal rule that for every hour you spend on an electronic device, you must spend that same amount of time “disconnected.” Another great rule you could create is one that requires you to discontinue electronic use at least one hour before going to bed.
There are also other things you can do to cut back on your electronics usage, such as reading paper books, putting puzzles together, gardening, physical fitness, going for a walk, and so on. Your counsellor will assist you in determining what “offline” activities would be beneficial for you.
Another reason you want to get assistance from a counsellor for an electronics addiction is you can go through withdrawal symptoms. Having someone to talk to and support you during this process is essential to overcome your electronics addiction.