When was the last time you looked at your phone? Thirty minutes ago? Ten minutes ago? Maybe you’re reading this on your phone.
Whether we care to admit it or not, our cellphones are a major part of our lives. We not only use them to communicate, but to take photos, save notes, pay bills, and more. The average person spends over four hours a day staring at that tiny screen.
While our smartphones have changed the way we live our lives, they also have a huge impact on our health that may be overlooked. These seemingly innocent little devices can have a huge impact on your quality of sleep as well as your posture and muscle strength.
Smartphone Disrupts Sleep Cycle
Smartphones give off a blue light which suppresses your brain’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you with your sleep timing and circadian rhythm. At night, melatonin levels are supposed to be on the rise in anticipation of sleep. However, the blue light from your phone sends a signal to your brain that it is time to wake up, throwing off your sleep schedule and REM sleep.
Poor sleep impairs your body’s ability to repair and restore itself. This lack of quality rest can leave you feeling exhausted, sore, or stressed. If you find yourself having a hard time falling asleep at night or you wake up feeling completely drained, try going phone free for an hour or two before you intend to go to sleep. Studies have shown that this can help you relax and fall into a deep sleep faster and longer.
Smartphone Causes Neck and Back Pain
Depending on how your neck is angled, looking down at your phone can put huge amounts of pressure on your neck and spine, sometimes up to 60 pounds! While it may seem like you only glance down at your phone for a minute or two, that time can add up.
Over time, this stress on your neck can alter your posture and lead to Upper Cross Syndrome. This means that the continuous bad posture causes your shoulders to round, your head to jut forward, your back muscles to become very weak, and your chest muscles to become very tight. This can cause tightness and pain throughout the upper body.
There are a few easy ways to prevent this pain. One is to make a point to focus on your posture and sitting up straight. You can also make an effort to hold your phone higher up so that your neck is not at such an extreme angle.
You can also perform exercises and stretches to loosen and strengthen your chest and back muscles to get them back in balance. Seated rows are a great exercise to build up your strength to improve your posture.
The providers at Airrosti are also able to help you eliminate your aches and pains. By targeting the root of the pain, they are able to relieve the pain directly at the source. By also equipping you with tools and exercises to do at home, our patients have a rapid recovery time and the knowledge to prevent any future pains.
Read our Medical Disclaimer here.