You probably have a lot of things to blame your sleepless nights on. Could be the snoring companion who is resistant to elbow jabs or a work schedule that won’t quit (kind of like your body).
We know a night of tossing and turning is the worst. But using technology right before we go to sleep may be further promoting poor sleep.
Texting or responding to emails right before bed or falling asleep in front of the TV is the new norm. What we don’t realize is that not only does technology keep us from falling asleep, but it may also keep us from sleeping well. At all.
We appreciate our tech toys, but they need to be given a time and a place. Here are three possible reasons why your sleep is not as sound as you would like:
Speeding Up Your Neurons
Dr. Mark Rosekind highlights the most simple and straightforward reason for why using technology before bed is a serious no-no. (That’s right: two no’s, not one. SERIOUS stuff.)
Cognitive stimulation. Our brains get fired up and active when we use technology and our neurons are moving at light speed. You don’t need those neurons for Insta browsing, but it doesn’t matter. It won’t help you with your sheep counting.
Getting Physical Before Bed
Playing video games, watching TV, or responding to emails affects us far more than we think. Even physically.
Rosekind states that when doing these activities our brains release cortisone, a stress hormone that makes us tense up. If our bodies are mimicking stress right before bed, we’ve got no chance of a pleasant slumber!
Don’t Go To The Light
When receiving a text or an email early in the morning, looking at that screen basically feels like looking directly into the midday sun. We should start to invest in tech glasses.
Until that is patented, we need to consider if we want to look directly at the sun during the evening. We are going to assume that your answer is NO.
These small amounts of blue light that are shining into our eyes when we’re checking IGTV before bed may delay sleep catastrophically. Simply put, our bodies release sleep-inducing hormones when it gets dark out. If there is a constant light in our eyes, our bodies get confused.
Many of us are totally dependent on technology to get to sleep, and this is a huge problem. We’re messing with our internal clocks, people! It’s a dangerous cycle because once we begin, it can be hard to get back on a normal sleep pattern. But it can be done.
Charge your phone across the room at night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, reach for a book rather than a computer or iPad. Pre-slumber is your opportunity to chill out and wind down, not get the brain excited and alert.
Even consider making your room technology free. Chances are, no one should be angry with you for not answering a work email in the middle of the night. And if they are, give them this article.
And if you must, MUST, check-in, set your digital devices to enter into auto yellow light mode, which is significantly easier on your eyes and mind. Your iPhone and laptops can easily install apps in just a few simple steps.
As the sun goes down, so should your technology. Sweet, (tech-free) dreams.