How Technology Can Help Your Sleep and What to do about it?
At least 90% of the population these days uses technology to some extent. We all use it before we go to bed which can play an active role in our sleep schedule and pattern. Technology surrounds us daily. We use it at work, then at home and to entertain us. Some people do one last check on their social media or e-mail before they head to bed.
However, technology and sleep aren’t a good mixture to have together. Our bodies aren’t compatible with technology at bedtime, and for that reason, we need to learn healthy habits around sleep and technology. This makes it easier to ensure technology doesn’t affect our sleep pattern keeping us up all night leading to a rough morning the following day.
How Technology Helps and Hurts Your Sleep?
While most people won’t suffer from any impact on their sleep, some people are more sensitive. There are a few different ways technology affects sleep, and everyone will experience one or more problems in their life. Here are some of these problems.
This type of light is emitted from all electronic devices from tablets, to eReaders and cell phones, among others. This steady stream late at night keeps the body from producing enough melatonin needed to help you fall asleep. The blue light coming from your devices means bedtime is often pushed later and later.
The magnitude of the effect depends on how long and how often you look at your device. Looking at it once or twice for a short period of time will have less effect than if you spent time reading a book on your device.
Even if you omit the blue light, your phone still has ways to disturb your sleep. If notification sounds are kept on, every e-mail, text message and more can set off a sound or vibration that can disrupt sleep schedules. Noise will disrupt sleep no matter how hard you sleep. These disruptions lead to higher risks of stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
People are more likely to wake up to their phone than any other noise, and this is because we are used to hearing these sounds all day long. We jump at the sound of our phone so when you hear it at night, you’re more apt to wake up and answer it.
It’s one thing to do a final scroll through Instagram or reply to a text message. It’s another thing to use your phone in a way that’s going to stimulate you causing you to be more awake.
There are all sorts of things that can stimulate the mind releasing adrenaline. This makes it hard to fall asleep. Stressful conversations, video games, and playing on your phone can all stimulate the mind before bed. That’s why sleep experts suggest removing all technology from the bedroom.
It sounds a little crazy, but research has shown that signals from your device interfere with your sleep. There have been studies done showing that having different electromagnetic frequencies in the room can cause sleep disorders. It becomes a lot harder to fall asleep at a decent time. It becomes harder to stay asleep as well.
Believe it or not, technology addiction is a real thing. It interferes with your sleep more than you might like to think. If you’re addicted to your electronic device, it feels impossible to put it down. The more addicted you are, the tougher time you’ll have falling asleep.
Minimizing the Effects Technology Has on Your Sleep
Now that you know how technology is affecting your sleep, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it. Sleep Standards suggests adults get anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
You need your cell phone and you also enjoy watching TV in bed on Sunday mornings. Even for those who are stuck to their technology devices more than others, there are methods to help you get some shut eye. Here’s a few things to consider trying.
Put it Down:
Just because you have a phone, doesn’t mean you need to be attached to it all day, every day especially at bedtime. Put it down at night, turn it off, turn the TV off and allow your body to have the time and environment to get adequate rest.
You may lay there tossing and turning, but eventually your body will fall asleep. Consider putting all devices down and turning everything off about an hour before you want to go to bed. Put everything out of reach so you aren’t tempted through the night to get up.
Leave it Out of the Room:
Since technology can affect your sleeping, consider leaving everything in the living room or in another room of the house. Put your chargers there as well so everything can be charged and ready for you when you wake up. If your phone is your alarm clock, consider getting another option. There are wearable devices that can serve the same purpose without disrupting your sleep.
Plan a Bedtime Routine:
It can be hard to know what to do after you turn off all your technology for the night. Consider coming up with something relaxing to do. Consider reading a book, drawing a warm bubble bath, tidying the house up or talking to family members in the home, if there are any. Make sure you aren’t doing anything that will stimulate the brain too much or you will do the opposite.
Turn Off Notifications:
If you must have your phone in your room with you, make sure you turn off notifications. Put your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’. You can keep an alarm set but, turn everything else off to ensure you get a good night rest without disruption from irrelevant phone calls.
While technology can be a gift, it can also affect our sleep patterns. It’s important to make sure you are using technology only during the day and putting it down at night. Make sure you have an adequate sleep environment that’s cool and dark with a comfortable bed as well.
According to Sleep Standards, having an adequate mattress can help you get a better night rest as well. It’s important to learn healthy sleep habits that don’t require falling asleep on our phone or other electronic devices.
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