The benefits of a digital cleanse – How unplugging can improve mental health and productivity

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In today’s fast-paced world, we are constantly connected online. We spend hours scrolling through social media, checking emails, and responding to messages. This constant exposure to technology negatively impacts our mental health and productivity. Taking a break from technology, also known as a digital detox, or digital cleanse, can be incredibly beneficial.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of a digital cleanse and how unplugging can improve mental health and productivity.

What is a Digital Cleanse?

A digital cleanse is a duration of time when you disconnect from all devices, including your smartphone, laptop, tablet, and other gadgets. This can be anywhere from a few hours, a day, a weekend, a week, or even longer. A digital cleanse gives you a break from the constant stimulation of technology and allows your brain to rest and recharge.

Benefits of a Digital Cleanse

1. Improves Mental Health

The constant stimulation of technology can take a toll on our mental health. Research shows that excessive use of electronic devices can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues (see References 1 and 2 below). Taking a break from technology can help reduce stress, anxiety levels, and improve overall mental health.

A digital cleanse can also help improve our sleep. The blue light emitted from electronic devices is known to disrupt our sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Disconnecting from technology before bedtime aids in improving the quality of our sleep and helps us to wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

2. Increases Productivity

Technology serves as a distraction, making it difficult to focus on tasks and be productive. The constant notifications from emails, messages, apps, and social media interrupt our workflow and make it difficult to stay on track.

Taking a break from technology can help us regain focus and increase productivity. Without the distractions of technology, we can devote that time and energy to tasks that require our attention, leading to greater productivity and efficiency.

3. Boosts Creativity

The constant stimulation of technology stifles creativity. When we are always connected, we rarely have time to be alone with our thoughts and let our minds wander. This can make it difficult to come up with new ideas and think creatively. Boredom is crucial to creativity, and when we’re always connected, and never bored, creativity suffers.

Unplugging can help us disconnect from the constant stimulation of technology and allow our minds to wander. You can flex your imagination and develop ideas. Giving our brains time to rest and recharge boosts creativity, and helps us to come up with new and innovative ideas.

4. Improves Relationships

Technology can also impact our relationships. We often spend more time interacting with people online than in person, which can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. By taking a break from technology, we can focus on building and strengthening relationships with the people in our lives.

A digital cleanse can help us be more present in the current moment. Without distractions, we can fully engage with the people around us and enjoy the present moment.

How to do a Digital Cleanse

If you’re ready to disconnect from technology and do a digital cleanse, here are some tips to get started:

  1. Set a goal: Before starting your digital cleanse, set a goal for yourself. Decide how long you want to unplug from technology and what you hope to achieve.
  2. Notify people: Let the people in your life know that you will be doing a digital cleanse and that you will not be responding to messages or emails during this time.
  3. Find alternative activities: Plan activities to do during your digital cleanse. This can include reading a book, going for a walk, exercising, or spending time with friends and family.
  4. Remove temptations: Remove any electronic devices from your sight or turn off notifications to reduce the temptation to check your phone or computer.
  5. Be patient: It takes time to adjust to life without technology and to stop the habit of constantly reaching out for your phone, so be patient with yourself.


  1. Al Salman, Zaenb H.; Al Debel, Fatimah A.1; Al Zakaria, Fatimah M.1; Shafey, Marwa M.2; Darwish, Magdy A.2. Anxiety and depression and their relation to the use of electronic devices among secondary school students in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 2018–2019. Journal of Family and Community Medicine 27(1):p 53-61, Jan–Apr 2020. | DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_140_19
  2. Wacks Y and Weinstein AM (2021) Excessive Smartphone Use Is Associated With Health Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults. _Front. Psychiatry_ 12:669042. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.669042

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