How Technology Can Affect Your Sleep
How many of you sleep with your phone next to your bed? Or make checking your emails the last thing you do before closing your eyes? The answer is higher than you might think, it seems that this is becoming the norm. In fact, 95% of people use electronics within the same hour of going to bed.
Studies suggest that over 63% of people feel they don't get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can have awful short and long term health benefits, from feeling tired, moody and unable to concentrate, to suffering from diabetes and heart disease in later life.
In a world of Smart phones, tablets and busy schedules, technology seems to be taking over our every waking moment, and it's now creeping into our bedrooms and affecting our sleep too. We need to find a way to turn off, tune out and get back to concentrating on our health, rather than our social media popularity. Televisions and video games are no exception to this rule, as they can often increase your heart rate, preventing quality sleep.
Turn It Off
We've all heard it many times, but turning off your gadgets at least 30 minutes before you go to bed will benefit your sleep in a positive way. The light that is emitted from a screen (including television screens) affects melatonin production, which is the hormone responsible for our sleep cycles. This not only affects us falling to sleep, but can also prevent us from sleeping deeply and can make it hard to stay asleep.
Take A Break
Playing games, chatting with friends, or browsing your Facebook news feeds before bedtime may seem harmless enough, but it is making it harder for us to shut off. With many people having work emails on their phone, we are now working round the clock, even in our beds. Allow yourself some time to unwind, without technology. Your work and the Internet world will all be waiting for you tomorrow, and you'll be able to face it much more positively if you've allowed yourself some down time and a good night's sleep.
Leave It Downstairs
Resist taking your phone or tablet to bed. Sometimes the temptation can be too much. Set an example to your children: bedrooms are technology-free zones. Even with a gadget in the room, out of reach, the flash of a text, or bleep of an email can waken you in the night, sometimes without you even realising. The light from your alarm clock can even affect your sleep quality. Technology can prevent complete rest, so it's best we leave it out of sight and out of mind to allow our minds and our eyes to relax.
Why not try the above advice, switch off your gadgets, leave them out of your bedroom and wind down for at least 30 minutes before bedtime and see if your sleep patterns, your mood and energy levels improve? You may not even know you're being affected. Try it and see the difference.