I don't know about you but since the lockdown has been announced I've been averaging 8 hours of screen time on just my phone. I'm not even counting my laptop time right now. This has obviously led to some serious health problems over the past few months including constant backache, headache, dry eyes, and trouble concentrating.
I also know that the problem is not limited to just me- almost everyone around me is complaining about being too glued to their screens either because of added work pressure or because of lack of other activities to focus on.
The blue light from screens which is basically a high-energy, short-wavelength light can be damaging to your skin. Many beauty brands have even come up with anti-blue light products to help combat this, so understanding its effects on the skin is highly important.
Premature ageing like wrinkles and fine lines can be caused by continuous exposure to blue lights. Laptop and smartphone screens cause your skin to sag as well. This is because it directly affects the collagen in your skin which is the protein that gives the skin its shape.
Sleep deprivation is a key factor in digital fatigue because excess screen time can suppress the sleep hormone melatonin which disrupts our circadian rhythms (or sleep patterns), and reduces REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep. All of this adds up to make us much less alert come morning. Much of it is to do with the blue (or high energy visible) light that is emitted by screens – from phone to laptop to television – which affects how our cells react, inhibiting how much melatonin they produce.
Blue light penetrates deeper into the skin structure than UVA rays. It goes to the place where collagen and elastin are produced which are integral components of healthy skin. The skin loses both firmness and elasticity. There is even increased pigmentation.
Continued exposure to screens and lack of relaxation, rest and fresh air can raise our stress levels, causing inflammation in the skin – cue conditions like acne and rosacea. Add to that lack of sleep and it's a cry for help.
No, we did not write this article to just scare you but also wanted to tell you some crucial ways of how you can combat digital fatigue.
Mindfulness works in all aspects of life including digital presence. Be aware of your screen time and take breaks whenever possible. Ideally, every twenty minutes take a break from the screen and get some fresh air.
Every time you finish a task, take a break and move your body. Be it few reps of Suryanamaskar, basic stretching or a walk around the house - anything to get the blood circulation going.
Use skincare products that are packed with nurturing antioxidants to protect you from the effects of blue light. You can also try using all-round pluming and hydrating products as long-term effects of digital fatigue can also be dry and rough skin.
The general benefits of a good night's sleep are already well-known. It's called beauty sleep for a reason, right? But when it comes to digital fatigue it becomes even more important. Make sure to switch off all your electronics at least one hour before bedtime.
Taking time out for yourself is of utmost importance particularly when we're talking about creating boundaries between work and leisure. These boundaries have become blurred as of late because everyone is feeling like they're now living at work. Practice self-care, use shower oils, massage your face with face rollers and incorporate deep breathing exercises. This will all help reduce stress and in turn help your mind, body and skin.
So switch off the screen, keep your phone aside and go take a walk right about now!
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