Gadgets Before Bedtime: Is Technology Ruining Your Sleeping Routine?
Below is a guest blog from Freelance Writer, Jane Kitson.
Cell phones, computers, tablets and more: Electronic gadgets play a huge role in our daily lives – even up to the moment we sleep. In fact, 9 out of 10 Americans admit to using technology within minutes before heading to bed, according to the National Sleep Foundation. After all, it seems natural as we are surrounded by technology throughout the day by using our cell phones to wake us up, play games, check our emails, and connect with loved ones. But will using gadgets before bedtime actually affect our sleep routine? Experts say yes and here’s why.
Technology restrains melatonin
As 39% of Americans use their gadgets on a nightly basis, the harsh blue light emitted by screens can reduce the production of melatonin. The stream of blue light at night can keep the human body from producing natural melatonin, forcing us to push back bedtime later than we should. As a result, the hormone that controls your daily cycle will make it harder to calm down the mind and induce sleep.
To ensure that technology isn’t getting in the way of a quality snooze, aim to be gadget-free for at least an hour before heading to bed. Set a strict rule for yourself to make your bedroom a gadget-free zone.
Technology awakens the brain
For some, a simple text message may be innocent, but those quick replies can result in hours of scrolling through Facebook, catching up with the latest sports game or even getting lost in a new Instagram feed. Such activities can overstimulate the brain and include the release of adrenaline. In fact, 52% of college students report to needing a nap daily due to poor sleeping habits, according to a study by the Education Center for Applied Research. This can make it nearly impossible to sleep right away – leading towards the initial stages of insomnia.
So, how can we prevent the onset of insomnia and ruining our natural body schedule? Aside from investing in a quality mattress, switch to manual clocks and remove all technology from the sleep zone. Even watching a boring TV show can overstimulate the mind and cause the neurons to fire up – keeping you awake all night long.
Technology causes disrupted sleep
Research shows that noise can disrupt the effects of quality sleep, according to the Noise & Health Journal. Even if you refrain from the blue light, your phone can unexpectedly disturb your slumber. From notifications to alarms, this may force you to wake up every time your phone dings, rings, or beeps. Not to mention, 10% of Americans admit to leaving their ringtone on, resulting in calls and text alerts that stir them up earlier than expected.
The digital screen is not the only cause of disrupted sleep, they take up valuable time and keep the brain on wake mode, which ultimately affects our health. With a lot of patience and a bit of self-control, you can counteract the impact of technology –helping you to sleep deeper, faster, and more efficient. This will lead to feeling awake and refreshed each morning.