Cutting down on screen time has become a typical new year’s resolution, and while many begin the year with good intentions, it quickly becomes clear that putting your phone away is not as easy as it sounds.
But that’s exactly what one Galway TD has done.
In a three-day challenge, Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton limited the use of her phone, especially during down time.
She said that leaving her phone outside of the room when going to bed not only allowed her to switch off and get to sleep quicker, it also improved the quality of her sleep.
The Galway TD also noticed an improvement in her mood when she limited her scrolling on social media, especially in the evening, and she urged people to spend less time on their phones during 2019.
Deputy Naughton, who took on the challenge with her colleague Noel Rock TD, said: “Having my head stuck in a screen is one of the hazards of my job. I have really not given the consequences of it much thought until the last few weeks.
“I thought the best way to switch off in the New Year was to leave my phone outside my bedroom door at night. This way I would still hear the alarm in the morning but won’t be tempted to start scrolling through.
“It has really improved my ability to relax last thing at night and also my ability to get to sleep. The quality of that sleep has certainly and noticeably improved.
“Additionally, if you are not constantly exercised about what you might or not be missing on your device it allows you concentrate more fully on the task in hand and certainly leads to a less stressful day.
“I would urge everyone to allow themselves to step away from their device at least for a few hours a day and particularly late evenings.
“Even such a small thing can have really positive effects on your mood and sleep pattern. It is something I will continue to work on.”
She added that she noticed an improvement in her ability to “switch off” from the problems of the day.
“It is hugely important for your mental health to be able to step back from the frenzy of a busy day and give your brain a rest,” said Deputy Naughton.