11. Stimulating Screens

Simply Living Healthy – 40 tips in 40 days

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Screens are a part of our lives.  You are on one right now as you read this.  They are essential to the world we live in (at least in the first world.)  But a part of living healthy is living in moderation.  And that includes screen time.

The backlit screens that are so popular now initiate a neurological response in your brain. Similar to the sun.  AWAKE.  Ever wonder how you can be so tired and yet surf facebook in bed for an extra hour before passing out?  Or why your kids just won’t calm down and go to bed after watching a movie.  You can thank your (and their) brain.

It’s also why we can sit in front of the tv or youtube for hours on end.  Part of it’s the backlit screen, but when you add movement it also stimulates your body’s nervous system.  What?? Remember the fight/flight response?  That is your nervous system, acting up, become aware.  Taking in all the info it can to keep you safe.  Only you are in sitting in front of a screen, not on the African savannah being chased by a lion.  Our brains don’t know the difference.  They just react.  And release stress hormones and adrenaline to enable us to react, and stay awake, in case of danger. Long term stress is no good.  And counteracts sleep.  So here are tips to control the screen time.

  • Keep it out of bed. You want to sleep right? Give your brain a chance to feel like your bed is a safe place, not a lion’s den.
  • Don’t do it an hour before bed.  Especially for little kids…really aren’t they wired up enough already? Wind down.
  • Stay on track. TVO your program, or Netflix it.  Don’t get sucked in by commercials and teasers for the next upcoming program.  Watch the thing you turned on the screen to watch, then turn it off and walk away.
  • Set a goal of screen time for the day.  Stick to it. (You make your kids do it…why not take care of yourself as well.)

Simply Living Healthy – 40 tips in 40 days

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