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Are You Aware of How Technology Affects Your Sleep?

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how technology affects your sleep

Our bedrooms used to be quiet sanctuaries built for comfort and rest with usually nothing more than a bed, some clothes and a few personal belongings. Today, technology is seeping into our bedrooms through televisions, laptops and the phones in our pockets. But how does all this technology affect your sleep patterns?

Technology and Sleep

Did you know that 95 percent of people use electronics within the very same hour of going to bed? The problem with this is that using a self-luminous display even two hours before hitting the hay can suppress the melatonin in your body, messing up your natural clock (essentially making you feel less tired). Televisions and video games don’t help much in the relaxation department either, often increasing your heart rate and lowering your quality of REM sleep.

Also, according to a National Sleep Foundation study, 63 percent of people surveyed felt they don’t get enough sleep. And 15 percent of 19 to 64-year-olds even admit to getting less than six hours of sleep during the week which, over time, can lead to diseases like diabetes, depression and cardiovascular problems. The biggest problem may be our smartphones, given that 95 percent of millennials sleep with their phones right next to their beds.

There are a few things you can do before bed with tech to increase your likelihood of a good night’s rest, like reading a book under an indirect lamp (note: Ebook readers like Amazon‘s Kindle don’t have a sleep-depriving luminous display) or listening to some relaxing tunes as you nod off. Perhaps consider silencing your phone before going to sleep and not looking at it until the morning. All in all, it’s good for you to try to unplug for a few hours before going to bed.

Check out the graphic below to learn more about how technology affects your sleep.

how technology affects your sleep

[Click for larger version]

Image: Big Brand Beds

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4 Reactions

  1. I have my phone set to mute notifications from 10pm to 6am and I don’t use any technology in the bedroom. No TV. No phone. I also have no trouble sleeping and regularly get 7-8 hrs of sleep. Support for the post? Perhaps.

  2. It’s all about blue light, because almost any amount of light in that frequency band will trick the pineal gland into thinking it’s daytime and stop producing melatonin, upsetting your circadian rhythm (body clock). Blue lights are in many alarm clocks and the LEDs on your wireless router but also in the backlit plasma, LCD & LED displays in TVs, tablets & smartphones. The infographic suggests that e-readers are OK, but that’s true only for the ones using e-ink and not backlights, and those displays require that the lights are on.

    Bedroom light bulbs can be changed out for orange or red versions, or better yet the smart Philips Hue bulbs that allow you to wirelessly adjust the brightness AND color temperature. For mote on this topic see:
    http://www.mhealthtalk.com/how-light-from-electronics-affects-sleep/.

    I also recommend that you watch the National Geographic documentary, Sleepless in America. The full version is not yet available online, but I captured several short segments and combined statistics from the film with others I collected myself at http://www.mhealthtalk.com/sleep-statistics-sleepless-america/.

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