It is an age-old saying that watching too much television, or any device for that matter, can affect the mind. This, in turn, can cause sleep disorders, no matter what the age is. In this article, we take a look at how increased screen time and irregular sleeping habits actually go hand in hand, and what one can do to reduce the dependence on electronics. The ultimate motive, of course, is to identify healthy habits that don’t compromise on sleep quality.
How Does Screen Time Affect Sleep?
Studies have shown that the light rays emitted from electronic screens, famously known as blue light, are harmful to the body and increases sleeplessness. The study conducted with over 91,000 participants, showing some signs of sleeping disorder, insomnia, anxiety or depression. It concluded that sleeplessness increases the risk of anxiety. Although, the main reason for sleeplessness amongst the participants was due to the increased use of mobile phones right before bedtime. Therefore, to overcome sleeplessness, the author of this study recommends switching off all forms of electronics one hour before sleep.
So, how does blue light actually keep you awake? Many years ago, when humans didn’t invent bulbs and lights yet, we went to bed as the sun set and woke up early morning as the sun rose. This happens because of the circadian rhythm which tells the brain to sleep as darkness sets and wake up when there is bright light. As technological advancements conquered the world, we learned to extend our day time through artificial lighting, i.e., blubs and lights. Resultantly, we have tuned our bodies to respond to light to stay awake and this manifest while using electronics as well.
Every time we sit glued to our devices in bed, the body triggers the following reaction:
- The eyes have photoreceptors that prolong the circadian rhythm;
- Consequently, the brain’s electronic activity increases and stimulates cognitive response;
- Neurons race through the body and divert your mind from calming down;
- This delays the secretion of melatonin, responsible for the sleep-wake cycle, telling your brain to stay active longer; and
- Finally, there is an increased secretion of cortisol, responsible for waking up the whole body.
Therefore, the longer you stay on your devices, the stronger the signal to the brain to stay awake. This is why it is extremely difficult to fall asleep when you are scrolling through your phone continuously all night.
Quick Tips to Reduce the Effect of Blue Light
In this day and age, we are dependent on our devices for every minor task of our lives. The more dependent we become, the higher the risk of sleeplessness and associated health issues. In order to overcome this, you can adapt the following tips to ensure you do not compromise on your sleep, no matter what.
- The best way is to lower the bright room lights as the day drifts into the night;
- Keep your cellphones and other devices away, at least one hour before bedtime;
- Read a book instead of scrolling to sleep or listen to soothing music to naturally induce sleep;
- Develop a healthy sleep routine that includes a healthy naturally sleep-inducing diet at bedtime, and energizing food in the morning;
- Train your body to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, and over time your body will automatically fall asleep that time no matter what;
- Upgrade your sleeping environment to provide utmost comfort, so it naturally invites you to sleep. You can check out our bamboo sheets, that guarantees you sleep like a baby.
If you absolutely cannot stay away from your phone, change the setting to reduce the brightness and enable night mode to reduce the blue light emittance.