It’s Screen-free week (Find screen-free space to dream)!
Not suggesting you switch off completely – you have to work after all.
But simply making an active decision will help you…
1/ Improve sleep – screen time before bed cuts quality and quantity of sleep. You will take longer to feel awake the next day too – E-Readers Foil Good Night’s Sleep
2/ Improve posture – hours in a fixed position – even with a high-tech desk- is bad for your back and neck – it’s even worse for kids – Effects of smartphone screen viewing duration and body position on head and neck posture in elementary school children
3/ Improve memory – rehearse information – speak or write by hand so you select and organise your thoughts – The Best Time to Study
Three things you can do instead
1/ Spend 15 minutes journaling to improve performance and reduce stress – 5 Benefits of Journaling for Mental Health
2/ Set a timer to move – ideally every 30 minutes or so – but at least once per hour – you’ll boost your concentration too – Physical activity is good for your concentration – here’s why
3/ Listen to a podcast! (For example this one with Mollie Eastman!) What are the Key Benefits of Listening to Podcasts?
Blue light ‘lite’?
So you want to use a screen at night but want to sleep.
Will blue-blocking help? Not really.
Software – e.g. f.lux® – will cut down the blue ‘wake up’ wavelengths; Blue-blocking glasses will reduce levels reaching your eye. But even though blue light is like caffeine, all light is a wake-up call for your brain.
And if you’re on a screen you’re probably online – which will keep you alert too.
Bottom line – your brain isn’t fooled. If you care about sleep, give your brain the real thing.
Screentime is good for you!
Not only do screens give us almost infinite connectivity with other people and knowledge, but video games can also even help to treat vision problems in children – The use of specialized computer games for the treatment of amblyopia in Latvia, and older adults too – The effect of video game training on the vision of adults with bilateral deprivation amblyopia
The problem is the amount of time we spend staring at the screen – linked to headaches, blurry vision and painful dry eye syndrome – The Impact of Internet and Videogaming Addiction on Adolescent Vision: A Review of the Literature – let alone the trouble getting to sleep!
Can you have your cake and eat it?
Choose games that are designed to help them to learn and encourage them to reflect – what have they discovered, how do they handle frustration and losing – and are they learning how to play as a team and build confidence? How to recognize video games that engage kids of all ages in learning
Resonant Games: Design Principles for Learning Games that Connect Hearts, Minds, and the Everyday
And are they learning how to switch off? A parental screen time app can help you keep track – 7 Best Parental Control and Monitoring Apps of 2023
There are plenty of options for us screen-addict grownups too! The best screen-time apps to get your digital life under control
This excellent article for and against homework suggests that it’s not the quality of homework, it’s the quantity that counts – Why Homework Doesn’t Seem To Boost Learning–And How It Could
Quizzes and exercise where kids to check understanding without looking at notes (or consulting Google) make the biggest difference to results.
Another reason to turn off screens and switch to soft, warm light before bed!