Do you have a smartphone addiction?
We live in a world that has become dependent on smartphones. As convenient and enjoyable as they are, too much attachment to smartphones can cause various problems such as sleep deprivation and inability to concentrate.
“Our use of smartphones is spiraling into addictions,” said Dr. Sudhir Gokhale, a psychiatrist with Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn Ill. “Humans are not just overusing their cellphones, but the devices are beginning to interfere with their lives. Many people experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to cut back, similar to the overuse of an addictive drug.”
Ask yourself these questions to evaluate if you have a healthy relationship with your phone:
- Does the presence of your smartphone while you are working often deter your focus?
- Do you think about your phone or what updates you might be missing even when you are not using it?
- Do you experience an uneasy feeling when your device is not nearby?
- Do you check your phone constantly, even when you know you probably do not have any new messages?
- Would your friends and family say that you use your smartphone too much?
If you feel that your smartphone usage might be on the verge of becoming problematic, try to take steps to cut back.
“Prioritize your time by setting aside a couple hours each day to turn off your phone,” Dr. Gokhale recommends. “If this is too stressful at first, at least turn off the alerts. With this exercise, you will notice a change in your dependence as well as an improvement in your focus throughout the day.”
Above all else, do not allow your cell phone to disrupt your sleep schedule. If you find yourself not being able to fall asleep easily each night, try shutting your phone off an hour before going to bed. Looking at screens on any technological devices too close to bedtime can hinder your body’s natural process of relaxing before bed. Instead, set aside time at the end of the day for activities that will relax you such as meditation or reading a book. This will aide in your ability to wind down and experience a restful night’s sleep instead of impeding it.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.