In today’s day and age, everyone owns a smartphone. They have made life easier for billions of people around the world. However, there may be a cost for the convenience. Research has shown that smartphones can interrupt your brain chemistry and hormone regulation. When gone unnoticed, these hormone interruptions can interfere with one’s ability to socialize, focus, and can disrupt regular sleep patterns. This blog will discuss how smartphones are interfering with your hormones.
Three Ways Smartphones Can Alter Brain Chemistry
Have you ever been waiting for a notification and noticed that your heart rate has increased? This is because consistent smartphone use affects the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Emotional stressors such as work or relationship issues trigger cortisol responses in the brain and make us feel stressed. Well, it turns out that cortisol levels tend to elevate when people are away from their phones for too long. This leads to increased anxiety and can even disrupt sleep cycles preventing people from getting a good night’s rest.
“Switch cost” refers to the interruption in the brain that occurs when you pay attention to something on your phone and try to revert attention back to the task at hand. Psychologists have actually found that cell phone distractions such as text messages or social media notifications can drop mental efficiency by as much as 40%. You may think you can multitask, but constantly checking your smartphone is affecting your overall attention span and mental cognition.
One of the reasons using smartphones is so addicting is that it alters the regulation of your brain’s reward system. When we accomplish something such as a rigorous physical workout, the brain releases gratifying chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Smartphones are essentially a shortcut to the release of these hormones. When you check your phone or scroll through social media, the brain “rewards” you with these hormones, creating a level of addiction.
What Can We Do to Help?
In the tech-savvy world we live in today, it’s virtually impossible to eliminate smartphone use altogether. However, there are several things you can do to take control of your body’s hormone regulation.
Firstly, try to complete tasks one at a time with your phone out of sight. If your attention starts to wane or you start feeling anxious without your phone, take a minute to decompress, walk around, or even meditate. This will allow you to get back to work equipped with your full attention.
Secondly, you should avoid using your phone directly before bed. Not only do cell phones emit blue light that can disrupt your sleep cycle, but they also stimulate your sensory neurons which makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. Set aside a 15 to 30-minute window before bed with no cellphone use.
The last, and probably most important thing you can do is find a healthy balance between your real and virtual life. Those severely addicted to using their cellphone tend to have unfavorable lifestyle habits. If you already don’t, you should establish a weekly workout routine. Also, you should ensure that you are getting face-to-face social interaction and avoid using your smartphone when around other people.
Ensure Your Hormones Are Balanced With BioCure
Whether it’s from natural stress, an unhealthy diet, or excessive cellphone use, hormonal disbalance can negatively affect your life in many ways. That’s why our team at BioCure is dedicated to helping you strike balance. Through our hormone testing, micronutrient exams, peptide therapy, and at-home Testosterone Replacement Therapy, we can help identify and solve any imbalances that could be taking a toll on your well-being. For more information on our tests and treatment options, please contact us today to set up an appointment.