Did you know, the average Brit spends 3 hours and 25 minutes on their phones every day?1 This adds up to over 1,180 hours over a year! 70% of people would feel lost without their phones, with 30% checking their device before 7am.1

The information and social element we can get from our devices can be great, and the technology is advancing at a rapid pace to engage us even more, but are you addicted to technology?

Smartphone addiction, aka ‘nomophobia’, can negatively impact your wellbeing in a number of ways:

Virtual relationships

Smartphones make it much easier to form virtual relationships with distant friends and family, and it can even be a great place to start romantic relationships with around 1,500 dating apps available to choose from.2 However, online relationships are not a good substitute for real-life interactions, and if you replace genuine interaction with online chatting, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.3

Digital distraction

Distractions can waste more time in your day than you think, as it can take an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption, according to a University of California study.4 It also found those who are disrupted experience more stress and lower productivity. So, if you’re anything like the average Brit who checks their smartphone once every 12 minutes5, this is a lot of time wasted on distractions when you could have been getting on with the task in hand.

Disturbed sleep

Using electronic devices such as TVs, tablets and smartphones suppresses the release of melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone, therefore making it harder to fall asleep. The more electronic devices you use before bedtime, the worse you’ll be affected.

So, what can we do to try be less distracted by technology, allowing us to focus on important tasks?

Set yourself limits

Android and Apple have introduced self-imposed time limits on their smartphones, which allow you to monitor how much time you spend on your device and what you’re doing with it. This won’t stop you from using your phone completely once you reach this limit, however it can certainly help you become more aware of how much time you’re spending on your device.

Have breaks throughout the day

To help break the habit, rather than checking your notifications as soon as they come through, set yourself a specific time each day to check through them and send responses.

In time, you could build up to a whole day of no technology, or at least a whole day with no social media if that sounds too hard to stomach!

Turn off notifications

If you find yourself being too distracted throughout the day with the continuous notifications, turn off your notifications for the most prolific apps. Sometimes the temptation to look is too strong, but if you remove the notifications altogether this will enable you to concentrate better.

Keep it out of your bedroom

When browsing devices at night, the light from the screens can interfere with and block natural processes in the brain which should trigger feelings of sleepiness, as well as the release of the sleep hormone, melatonin.6 For more tips on how to get a better night’s sleep, give our blog a read.

Try and take time to give your brain a break from digital distractions and, by doing so, unlock your full potential.

To find out more about how a cash plan from Sovereign can help keep you on top of your health and wellbeing, visit www.sovereignhealthcare.co.uk

Sources:

1The Express 2Toptal 3Media Genesis 4The cost of interrupted work 5OfCom 6Harvard

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