Is Technology Disrupting Your Sleep and What Can You Do About it

Modern technology has both benefits and drawbacks. On one side of the coin, tech has forever changed the way we communicate. In today’s digital world, it’s possible to call someone halfway around the globe or order your groceries without even leaving your home. On the flip side, its changed our behaviour. We now expect everything on demand, and there is tremendous stimulus placed on our brain and nervous system every moment of the day.

If you battle to fall asleep or frequently wake during the night, it could be technology that’s keeping you from getting your beauty sleep.

How Technology Disrupts Your Sleep

Using tech devices like cell phones and tablets in the hours before bedtime makes it harder to fall asleep. Screen time before bed also reduces the restorative value of sleep, leaving you feeling groggy the next day.

Staring at a blue or white light screen and stimulating your brain just before you decide to head to bed is a bad idea. Research shows that passive activities such as watching a movie or reading an ebook before bed are less disruptive to the sleep cycle than scrolling through your social media feeds, commenting and liking posts.

Staring at a screen suppresses the brains ability to secrete melatonin, the biochemical that makes you feel sleepy. A lack of melatonin will leave you tossing and turning for hours before falling asleep.

The light from the screen tricks your brain into thinking that it’s sunlight. This effect disrupts the normal function of your sleep cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. Teenagers need more sleep than adults because their body and mind are still in the development stage. Affecting sleep quality and length results in a lack of concentration and diminished cognitive capability.

The Statistics

  • More than 80% of Americans own and use a mobile device.
  • Over 95% of Americans say they fall asleep in front of the TV.
  • A 2-hour exposure to white or blue light from the screen of a mobile device suppresses melatonin by more than 20%.
  • 3 out of every 10 employees fall asleep at their desks every month.
  • 25% of all motor vehicle accidents occur as a result of driving drowsy.
  • Sleeping an average of fewer than 6 hours a night increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 50%.

These statistics show the frightening impact of a lack of sleep in your life. Sleep is instrumental in keeping our mind sharp, and our body energized. When we sleep, the brain clears neurological pathways of toxins built up during the day. If the brain is unable to clear these toxins on a regular basis due to lack of sleep, you can expect to develop some form of cognitive impairment.

A consistent lack of sufficient sleep ruins your mind. Seniors that don’t get enough sleep are at risk of developing brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, while young people run the risk of lower grades.

Young adults and teenagers are hopelessly addicted to their devices. Even when they do fall asleep, more than 90% of teenagers and young adults report they sleep with their mobile device within reach.This group also mentioned that they don’t silence their phones before bed and if they wake during the night, the majority of them check their phone before going back to sleep.

Be Proactive: A Strategy To Ensure A Good Night’s Sleep

More than 60% of Americans state that their sleep suffers during the week due to device interruptions during the night. This statistic means that more than half of the nation is walking around every day in a state of fatigue and mental confusion.

Take back your bedtime and get your beauty sleep by following these 5 tips.

  1. Don’t stare at a screen 2 hours before bedtime.
  2. Eliminate power indicator light pollution by covering up your charger.
  3. Mute your phone before bedtime and try to wake up without an alarm clock.
  4. Keep your phone on the other side of the room while you sleep.
  5. Don’t check your phone if you wake up.

Implementing these tips will ensure you get a good night’s rest. It may feel strange going to sleep without your device next to you, but the benefits far outweigh the cons.

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