Not getting a good night’s rest? It may be due to the technology you spend all day on. New technology is undoubtedly amazing and is something that progresses the way we live, but it is not something that you should be on all day and all night. Many experts feel that our excessive use of communication technology such as cell phones, laptops, television, etc., is the driving factor in the significant number of people with sleep deprivation in America. It’s important to keep your technology usage to a minimum.
Using these types of electronics throughout the day can damage your eyes and your mind; using them within the hour before bed can be detrimental to your sleep. It’s important to put down the technology and be present in the moment, and putting down your tablet or smartphone before bed will ultimately help your health as well!
Some research has shown that nighttime light exposure suppresses melatonin production in the body. A low level of melatonin is associated with restless nights and levels of increased sleeplessness. Low melatonin levels have also been shown to increase cancer risk, impair immune system function, and possibly lead to cardiometabolic consequences such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and heart disease. With serious consequences like these, preventing melatonin suppression should be a top priority in anyone’s healthy lifestyle.
Electronics are sleep stealers; stop checking your email or watching TV just before bedtime! Using a light-emitting device right before bed stimulates the brain differently than the natural way the body was intended to move towards sleep (gradually as the sunset). Exposure to light stimulates the brain and creates false alertness and stimulation that hinders you from easily fading into sleep. That’s why it is so easy to waste sleepless hours flipping from channel to channel or jumping from website to website because your brain is so alert.
Watching TV right before bed keeps your mind active and stimulated. Switching from channel to channel, finding shows that interest you will keep you up longer than expected and will keep you from having a completely restful sleep. Turn off that TV and let your mind wind down as you get ready for bed.
A computer can be even worse than a TV, as you can get the urge to check emails and do some work or do some online shopping. The internet’s possibilities are endless, so keeping your laptop or your computer on is too much of a temptation. Turn it off and put it away. You are more than likely on a computer all day at work; you can definitely take a break from the computer screen before bed!
Thanks to smartphones, you can practically do anything on your phone now. You can check emails, play games, text, watch videos, etc. Phones have become an addiction, and none of us can get off of them. But we must find the will and the way to do so. Put your phone away as you get closer to your bedtime. Set it aside and do all you can to avoid messing around on it before bed.
Tablets are pretty much just large smartphones that you can’t make calls on. But same practices here. Once your bedtime is nearing, one or two hours before bedtime, shut it off and set your tablet aside. There is no need for it. It’s time to let your mind rest.
This one is a big one, especially for children. Gaming before bed is the ultimate simulator. Your brain becomes completely alert when you are playing video games. You want to stay away from this right before bed. Playing Call of Duty for hours and then going to sleep is a recipe for a restless night.