An adequate amount of good quality sleep daily is a must for leading a healthy, comfortable, peaceful, and productive life. If you are suffering from poor sleep then there is a risk of developing anxiety, an increase in stress levels, and other health issues.
Advancement in technology is good for life but it can have a very severe effect on your sleep if you try to immerse yourself in technology close to your bedtime. Using electronic devices before bedtime can harm your sleep, although you may feel them to be stimulating. Some technologies related activities like playing games and checking your social media accounts on your smartphone, or watching TV just before going to bed are going to harm your sleep cycle.
How can technology use affect us at bedtime?
- Bright Screens
We have been engulfed by technology, it has entered every part of our life. Whether it is office or home, we are dependent on technology to help us in almost all the activities. However, there are some serious negative impacts of technology as well.
The bright screens from the devices that emit blue light are harmful to our sleep. Our circadian rhythm follows a natural clock that is controlled by the light and it results in affecting our sleep cycle. The sunlight in the morning has a great influence on our bodily functions. It helps us wake up from our sleep and stay awake. Our body has a natural tendency of delaying sleep. We always find it easier to push our bedtime but struggle to wake up early.
The bright light from the screen harms our sleep cycle. Artificial blue light forces changes to our scheduled bedtime and can result in difficulty in falling asleep by shifting our desire to sleep. Melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, synchronizes the sleep cycle with the real-life cycle of day and night. The bright screens fool this system and spoil the sleep cycle. When you are looking at TV, laptop, smartphone, a signal is being sent to the brain that it is day time which results in the brain trying to adjust the sleep cycle and forcing you to stay awake.
- Information Overload
The availability of information is always welcome and can help you in solving so many real-life problems. But, scientists have predicted that with new advances in technology that makes more information widely available would result in overloading of information than a normal human being can process daily.
Too much information to process means your brain has to work more increasing your stress levels and anxiety, which will result in insomnia.
- Unexpected Sounds
Even if you can cancel out the effects of blue light from your smartphone, your phone may still be able to spoil your sleep. Your smartphone is going to buzz every time you receive a notification, like e-mail, text messages, etc., which can result in disrupted sleep. These disruptions may also lead to other health problems like stroke and cardiovascular disease. Since, we are used to these notifications during the day and check them frequently and respond as soon as we can, the same may happen during the night and lead to insomnia.
Any activity like video games, watching TV can stimulate your brain and many of these results in the release of adrenaline. During the day it is fine but not when you are close to bedtime. Video games, TV shows make your brain work harder and will result in making it harder to fall asleep quickly or stay asleep.
What to do?
- Kick Out Electronic Devices
As per sleep experts, the bedroom should be used only for sleeping and intimacy. Your bedroom should be your abode for relaxation and not an entertainment center or home office.
You should move your TV, computer, laptop, and gaming devices out of your bedroom.
- Reduce The Brightness of Screen
If for some reason you need to have portable gadgets in your bedroom, you should dim down the screen brightness level or use night-mode if available on your gadget. It should help in reducing the intensity of blue light being emitted from the screen.
You should use yellow or orange-tinted glasses to reduce the intensity of blue light coming from the computer screen.
You should keep your portable gadget with its screen facing down when you are sleeping.
The face of the digital clock also should be not directly looking at you, turn it around.
- Turn Off Notifications
If for some reason you need to have portable gadgets in your bedroom, you should put them on silent mode when you are sleeping so that incoming notifications like e-mail, messages don’t wake you up from your sleep.
If your job is of the “Work-on-call” type, then you should configure “Do not disturb” settings on your smartphone, which will allow only certain notifications to alert you, and others can be ignored.
- Relaxing Activities
You should spend time on relaxation activities instead of using technology before going to bed. You can read a book, listen to music, write in a journal instead of checking twitter feeds, social media accounts, etc.
You should do meditation and light exercises to sleep better and have an adequate amount of sleep.
- Have a comfortable sleep environment
You should have a perfect sleep environment for getting a good quality sleep daily. Your bedroom should a very comfortable one, with no clutter, clean, cool, and have a quiet ambiance. Your bedroom should be made dark with the help of heavy curtains or blinds.
Above all, your mattress should be the best mattress to sleep. You should not compromise on the quality of your mattress.
Technology is a gift that should be used judiciously for making life easier and not be the controller of your life. According to Sleepstandards, you should follow above mentioned what to do instructions to get good quality sleep daily. Chronic bad sleep is going to harm your health which can fail you to lead a healthy, comfortable, peaceful, and productive life.