By: Peter Girard
Let me just start off by saying I’m pretty pro-technology. It has done and will continue to do amazing things for us. Technology has linked us up in ways that previous generations could have never dreamed of. Be that as it may, there’s still something to be said for ‘unplugging’ at the end of the day. The instant connectivity technology permits us to have can be an incredibly powerful tool during the work day, but depending on the time of the day (namely after work), can also be a curse.
Now the purpose of this quick blog isn’t to convince you to cancel your internet package or limit yourself to 1 hour of access a day. If you are however feeling a little hyper-connected, here’s a couple reasons to unplug after the work day is done.
This video went viral a while back and does an awesome job of visually representing our ‘addiction’ to technology and need to be connected. If nothing else, the video is a great PSA, hits you right in the feels, and might motivate you to leave your phone untouched for a couple hours.
Disconnecting after work has its benefits. One huge one is stress relief. Researchers at Kansas State University have determined that we indeed need down time after work to prepare ourselves mentally for the next day. Denying yourself that ‘me time’ can lead to your stress level reading a little high and stress can lead to a whole host of health problems if not managed properly.
Continued work-related communication after hours can prevent your brain from relaxing and you may actually be robbing your brain of the time it needs to recover after a long work day. Again, this isn’t to say that come 5 pm you should shut off your phone or refuse to respond to work-related text message or emails because sometimes, situation call for that level of dedication. Just be mindful of how frequently you’re partaking this habit and if it’s something that can be tackled during regular business hours, consider worrying about it then.
Get those Zzz’s
Regular computer use (or smartphone, tablet, or other connected device in this case) has been linked to sleep disorders. Some research has indicated that the light put off by your device may be linked to reduce serotonin levels, and since serotonin is the body’s natural sleep hormone, that could mess with your sleep.
Though there’s no magic number the recommended amount of sleep adults should get is anywhere between seven and nine hours. However, on average in the US adults are getting about 6.8 hours of snooze a night.
There you have it. At the very least I hope this has inspired you to look a little more closely to how you spend your hours after work. There’s always work to do, just keep in mind your brain and body need time to unwind and prepare for the next day. Staying plugged into the matrix may lead to you taking one too many ‘mental health days’ than you’d like! Any questions/comments please feel free to reach out to me via Twitter!