Smartphones have become an indispensable part of our everyday life by helping people cram in work into their daily lives even out of office and to stay connected with all the dear ones. But seldom do we realize that this technology can come at a cost. The extend that we rely on this connectivity to make things easy and convenient makes another domain worse, the fact that it affects the realm of sleep in us. Do not let your smartphone be the reason behind those puffy eyes and the insatiable craving for caffeine.
In a recent study that was carried out in Norway, it was revealed that the longer an adult spent their time looking at an electronic screen before going to bed, the worse quality of sleep they are likely to experience. The sleep patterns are most profoundly affected and even our long-term health is also at stake. The impact is greater than what we can imagine.
According to this study which was carried out with a sample size of 10,000 adults it was found out that those who have spent more than four hours a day looking at the screens had 49% greater risk of taking longer than an hour to fall asleep at night and were three and a half times more prone to sleep which is less than of five hours at night.
Excessive TV viewing and computer use have been previously connected with the high rate of teenage anxiety and depression. Texting your friend at night before going to bed may not be considered as a serious issue to you but in fact the damage it is creating is pretty massive. Constant usage of these electronic devices right before sleep stimulates the nervous system thus interfering with the body clock.
Researches suggest that many of the participants in the study has experienced the fact that the light of these devices can certainly hinder a good sleep. This leaves us to the question of how exactly is our sleep being compromised.
A two-week inpatient experiment was carried out on a dozen adults in which half of them were asked to read on an iPad for four hours each night before they went to bed. The other half were given printed books in dim light. After a week the groups were swapped. Researchers found that the participants using the iPads showcased reduced levels of melatonin- which is a hormone that increases especially in the evening to induce sleepiness in humans. This group took a much longer time to sleep and even after 8 hours of sleep they still were weary and drowsy.
Chronic suppression of melatonin has been coupled with increased risk of prostate, colorectal and breast cancers. And a persistent lack of sleep has been associated with obesity and diabetes.
The following tips will help you optimize your sleep so you can be productive, mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and full of energy all day long.
Turn off your television, smartphone and computer: Most of us use the television to fall asleep or relax at the end of the day, and this is a mistake. Not only does the light suppress melatonin production, but television can actually stimulate the mind and affect our body clock, rather than relaxing it. If your favorite TV show is on late at night, record it for viewing earlier in the day.
Try listening to music or audio books: Listening to soothing music before bed is cent percent healthier than playing your favorite video game on your smartphone.
Do not read from an electronic device while in bed: If you are in the habit of reading something before you sleep at night, use a book rather than an eReader that requires no back light.
Darker the better: Make sure that your room is really dark when you are ready to hit the bed. Cover electrical displays, use heavy curtains or shades to block light from windows, or even try a sleep mask to cover your eyes for that perfect sleep.
The results of staring onto these screens for a long time while in bed is tiresomely predictable. The next time when you are tossing and turning on your bed think about that. And then the next night try shutting off everything earlier. Let us know how well you slept in the comments below.
Turn off, tune off and sleep well!!
So other than a little grogginess, should we be worrying about the apparent loss of sleep that our glowing screens are causing us?
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