Our use of digital technology is undoubtedly continuing to grow, and as we are becoming more dependent on using a variety of devices to carry out everyday tasks, our time spent checking messages, emails, browsing the internet only appears to be increasing. Whilst we can all praise the benefits of living in a technological era, there is a concern that our sleep is being affected due to an inability to properly switch off our minds from technology before bed, but also literally switch off our electronic devices!
Activities before bed such as sending a text message or browsing the web are affecting our minds ability to relax and instead promotes activity and wakefulness. One reason for this is that the hormone produced in your body which helps to induce sleep, Melatonin, is being reduced due to the blue lights released on the screens of our electronic devices. A study published earlier this year in Frontiers in Public Health featuring Professor Gringras highlighted that new devices are being designed to be brighter, larger and produce more blue light.
How can we avoid disrupting our our sleeping pattern with technology?
Technology is an amazing concept! However, we at Sleepy People understand the importance of a good night’s sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle, therefore we have some very simple tips which could help to relax you before bed, giving you the chance to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
Introduce a cut off point for using devices
As your brain needs time to switch off from the engagement of devices used that day, try to allocate a time before getting into bed in which you put down all electronic items and do not go back to them until the following day. Although it may be enticing to check if you have any notifications on your phone one last time before going to sleep, do not feel tempted! Once all devices have been put away, perhaps have a routine of getting reading for bed (cleaning teeth, washing face) which means by the time you get into bed and turn the light off, your brain should be properly relaxed and disengaged from any technological activity.
Turn off devices or eliminate notifications
To ensure that you are not disturbed once asleep, another handy tip would be either to turn the device off completely, or to alter the notifications/sounds/lights settings on your devices which could potentially wake you up. If you do wake up and struggle to get back to sleep, (although extremely frustrating when you are aware that you have to be up the next morning) do not turn to your device for entertainment! This will only stimulate activity in your brain and you will find it even more difficult to return to a deep slumber. Lastly if you are worried about turning off devices because you use them to set alarms, think about investing in a simple alarm clock which you can use as an alternative!