Americans are tethered to technology, using cell phones, tablets, and laptops for more hours daily than ever before. In fact, the average person spends over 10 hours a day looking at some type of electronic screen. And bedtime routines don’t signal an end to our digital dependency: 39 percent of Americans tote their phone to bed and use it to text before tucking in.
Getting a good night’s sleep is achievable when you take care to not use technology in your bedroom. Your sleep satisfaction is affected by noise and light in the room, distractions that often emanate from phones, TV, and every type of computer. Discover why these devices can affect your sleep and what you can do to get the most out of your sleep.
How Blue Light Affects Your Circadian Rhythm
The blue hue coming from your phone, TV, and tablet is getting in the way of your ability to feel satisfied with the sleep you get. Although you may not notice it, the light suppresses melatonin in your body, a hormone that supports your sleep/wake cycle known as circadian rhythm. When your cycle is off, you feel less rested. To lessen the blue light’s awakening effects on your sleep, turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime and do something relaxing like reading instead.
Tech Stimulates Your Brain
That show on TV is exciting, but if you watch it too close to bedtime it will keep you up longer than you’d like. Reading emails, sending texts, and checking your Facebook feed can all stimulate your mind just at the moment you’re trying to unwind, leading to potential problems falling and staying asleep. To wake up feeling good about the sleep you got, make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary by not having a TV in the room. This way when you get into bed your body knows it’s time to get ready to sleep.
Personal Devices Are Noisy
Nearly a quarter of Americans keep their phones on when they sleep and one in 10 are woken up a few nights a week by shrill ring tones. News alerts and calendar reminders are not essential at 2 A.M. What is? A silent room for sleeping, allowing you to rest up and feel refreshed to tackle whatever awaits you in the morning. Turn your tech devices off every night, and consider placing your phone in a charger that’s out of reach. If other noises distract you from slumber, purchase a pair of earplugs so you can sleep in peace.