In recent years, the effect of technology on our health has been widely present in the scientific community and mainstream media, uncovering the cold hard truth that digital life might have some serious side effects. The common understanding, across the board, is that too much technology in your day-to-day life can have negative effects on your mental, emotional and physical health, even possibly being a contributing factor for cancer, obesity, and heart disease. Other health concerns include neck pain, headaches, migraines and even eye strain. In my own experience, after multiple years working constantly from my phone or on a computer, it’s undeniable to admit that a majority of my work day is centered around technology and I can tell, it’s starting to catch up with me. A digital detox is necessary.
You’ve probably heard by now that one of the most serious effects of technology is the blue light it emits. It has been scientifically researched that long periods of exposure to blue light, especially at night, can seriously impact the health of our eyes and brain. One study at Harvard write that, “Studies suggest a link between exposure to light at night, such as working the night shift, to some types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity…But we do know that exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, and there’s some experimental evidence (it’s very preliminary) that lower melatonin levels might explain the association with cancer” (Harvard Health Publishing, 2018). We don’t know the long term effects of constant technology use and the full scope of it’s harmful blue light, but we should be taking this seriously and dedicating time spent off screen.
When we get into an environment without any light or other stimulus, like the float tank, we are giving our bodies the perfect opportunity to rest, reset, and renew. When you turn the lights off during your float and your body begins to go into deeper states of consciousness, your brain naturally increases producing melatonin, the exact same hormone that is negatively impacted by the blue light emitted from the screens on our computers, TV’s and phones.
Without a doubt the combination of holding long periods of a downward gaze, blue light, and eye strain from focusing on one place for too long are linked to headaches, migraines, and illness, both mental and physical. Even the comfort of screen time has become the social norm for many of us, plugging our focus into our phones for work, for organization, for money, for social connection, etc. When we focus too much on technology, we can lose sight of why we even started inventing technology in the first place…to make life easier!
So, what does the future of technology hold for us? I can’t say for sure but I can say with confidence that more time spent in the float pod and less time on the screen, the better. Read about how floating can help your Digital Detox here.