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Does screen time have an impact on health and well-being?

by EJ_Team
0 comment 4 minutes read

Excessive screen time has become an integral part of modern life, but its consequences on health and well-being are complex and multifaceted. In this exploration, we delve into the intricate effects of screen-generated light on sleep, mental health, and overall physiological functions.

Disruption of Sleep and Body Clock

 Screen-generated light, primarily from electronic devices, disrupts the natural sleep-wake cycle by mimicking daytime conditions. This suppresses the release of melatonin, a hormone crucial for sleep initiation. The resulting desynchronization of the body clock can lead to hormonal imbalance, inflammation in the brain, and a hindrance to the restorative deep sleep necessary for overall well-being.

Desensitization of the Brain’s Reward System

 Children, in particular, are vulnerable to becoming “hooked” on electronics, with activities like gaming triggering a significant release of dopamine, the brain’s “feel-good” chemical. Over time, the brain’s reward pathways become desensitized, requiring more stimulation to experience pleasure. This desensitization not only affects mood but also impacts focus and motivation, akin to the neurological patterns seen in substance use.

Impact on Mental Health

 Exposure to “light at night” from screens has been consistently linked to mental health issues, including depression and an increased risk of suicide. Contrary to common misconceptions, removing electronics from a child’s bedroom is a protective measure, as light at night has been shown to play a role in depressive symptoms, independent of the screen being actively viewed.

Stress Reactions and Brain Chemistry

 Screen time, both acute and chronic, induces stress reactions in the body. The fight-or-flight response, coupled with the chronic stress hormone cortisol, contributes to increased irritability and, in some cases, becomes a contributing factor in the development of a depressive cycle. Hyperarousal and addiction pathways further impact the frontal lobe, the brain region crucial for mood regulation.

Sensory Overload and Attention Fracture

 Experts highlight a connection between poor focus, explosive behavior, and screen time. The constant stimuli from screens contribute to sensory overload, leading to attention deficits. The mental energy depleted by high visual and cognitive input can result in coping mechanisms such as anger-induced meltdowns.

Reduced Physical Activity and Nature Interaction

 Research consistently demonstrates that extensive screen time is associated with reduced physical activity levels. Moreover, it limits exposure to nature, which has been shown to restore attention, lower stress levels, and reduce aggression. The “green time” lost to screens hampers the natural mood-enhancing benefits associated with outdoor activities.

Winding it up

Achieving a balanced approach to screen time is essential for maintaining optimal health and well-being. Mindful consideration of its implications, coupled with the promotion of outdoor activities and nature interaction, can help mitigate the adverse effects and foster a healthier relationship with digital devices.

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Education Journalist endeavours to bring this forward to mentor individuals or an organization and use their learning and experiences to pave their path.

Education Journalist endeavours to bring this forward to mentor individuals or an organization and use their learning and experiences to pave their path.


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