These days, technology is our best friend. It will be impossible for us to go through our day without using smartphones, tablets, or laptops. Getting a comfortable and high-quality mattress can’t stop us from putting these devices down and go to sleep.
We can’t deny the fact that the use of technology during the daytime makes our life easier. However, did you know that using your phones or laptops at night may deliver the opposite results?
If you’ve been using technology in bed at night before you sleep, you may want to read this article.
What’s the Effect of Technology on Sleep Quality?
The use of technology at night may lead to poor sleep quality. According to Harvard researchers, you will experience the following when using tablets or phones two hours before bedtime:
- Your bedtime will be delayed (longer time to fall asleep).
- Your body clock will get messed up.
- You will spend less time in REM (deep) sleep.
All of these will lead to sleep deprivation and may ultimately result in reduced cognitive performance and less alertness in the daytime.
How Technology Interferes with Your Sleep (and What you Can Do About It)
Putting your phone in your nightstand seems like a harmless habit, but there’s more to technology and its effect on sleep that you should know about. Here are some of the ways technology affects your sleep:
The bright blue light from your phone suppresses the secretion of melatonin.
Laptops, mobile phones, and tablets emit blue light. Daylight also contains a lot of blue light. With the presence of blue light, your body will think it’s daytime, so it will suppress the release of melatonin, the hormone which promotes sleep.
Because it blocks the release of melatonin, exposure to blue light can affect your circadian rhythm. As a result, your bedtime will be delayed, and your sleep will be shortened. The alarming thing is the effects of nighttime gadget use are more significant for children and teens.
What You Can Do:
The best thing you can do is discontinue the use of your gadgets two hours before bedtime.
If you have no choice but to use your laptop or cellphone a few hours before bedtime, your next best option is to use an app that can dim the blue light. You can also choose to invest in gadgets that help block out blue light.
Any technology activity may keep your brain alert.
When you’re unwinding at the end of the day, you’re signaling your body to relax and go into sleep mode. When you incorporate screen time in your unwinding or bedtime routine, you’re preventing your mind from relaxing.
This is because all the photos, news, and videos you see as you scroll through your phone will fill your mind with information and evoke your thoughts. As a result, your brain will stay alert trying to process all this knowledge, preventing you from feeling sleepy and getting your much-needed sleep.
What You Can Do:
Again, this can be resolved by avoiding screen-time two hours before bedtime. Instead of using your phone, listen to music, or read a book instead. You can also start doing your bedtime routine at this time.
Your phone’s noisy notifications will keep you awake.
If you don’t disconnect your phone from your WiFi connection or don’t put it on silent mode, it will beep or vibrate as notifications come in throughout the night. The noise or vibration may wake you up or disrupt your sleep.
What You Can Do:
This may seem too drastic, but it works—ban all gadgets in your bedroom at night. If you use your phone to set your alarm, you can use an alarm clock instead.
No matter how fun and relaxing it may seem to use your phone before bedtime, studies prove that its use can lead to sleep deprivation, causing lethargy, irritability, and poor cognitive performance. This is why we should use our gadgets only in moderation, especially before bedtime.
Tags: Quality sleep tips, Quality sleep benefits, Quality sleep solutions, how technology impacts sleep quality, how electronics affect sleep, cell phones, and sleep deprivation.