With the past few blogs, we have discussed how sleep is important and how it can affect our health.
Most of us are guilty of using phones, laptops, tablets, TV and many other electronic devices. It's amazing how technology keeps us connected. You can check and respond to your email, social and chats, just using your phone. Even if you are about to go to sleep, you tend to check your phone for any recent contacts and this very act can keep us wide awake into the night. But wait, Isn't this affecting the quality of sleep we are aiming for?
Let’s look at how these electronic devices are affecting your sleeping habits and brain health.
Blue Light suppresses Melatonin.
All your favourite electronic devices emit light that is not just bad for your eyes, but for your brain too. Exposure to bright lights delays the release of Melatonin, which is a hormone that signals the brain to sleep. Delaying the process of these hormones means more time spent awake and difficulty in becoming drowsy. This will also affect your circadian rhythm, which distinguishes when it is time for you to go dark or light. That's why your body feels more tired at night. The light from electronic devices or even a light bulb during the night, can affect the internal body clock.
Screen activities keep you alert and stimulated.
These electronic devices are designed for us to be more productive and to make our lives easier. They are also designed to keep us entertained and informed. Checking your emails or social media keeps your brain awake and active. These stimulations distract you from sleeping. Consequently, you develop a habit where you need to keep connected and available, while feeling that you need to respond to everything immediately; even it is time for you to sleep.
However, falling asleep is not the whole issue. Waking up in the middle of the night just to respond to an email, call, or text is another big concern because after responding to those work emails, it is difficult to go back to sleep. It can really affect your deep sleep. The high-tech era has forced us to feel like we can never really log-off, even if we need to sleep.
Here are a few tips on how we can combat this technology and start getting into a better sleep pattern.
- Turn off the light or just use dim light for 2 hours before you sleep.
- Use a bedside lamp instead of the main light in your bedroom.
- Keep away from those electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers, TV’s, etc 30mins before you go to bed. The smartphone is a common culprit here!
- Put your phones and tablets in silent mode (or activate your Bedtime Mode).
- Limit your screen time, especially for your little ones.
- Replace your bedtime activities with more traditional ones like reading books, etc.
The bottom line is to limit your exposure to this technology, right before you sleep, no matter how hard it is. If you really can't stop yourself checking your phone, tablet or laptop, I highly suggest putting it in a different room. Then when those distractions are minimized or totally removed, you can start getting off to sleep more easily. If you want to be having the best sleep ever, then check out the Mattresses here – Hypnia.com