How technology can disrupt sleep

How technology can disrupt sleep

If you're reading this and it’s 10pm, put your phone down! (But keep reading) Your bed should be a no phone zone past a certain time. We all know that the key to falling asleep easier is to switch off but that doesn't just mean switch off your brain but switch off your phone too.   

The science behind it
The different colours of light have different levels of effects on the way we receive them. Although blue light is meant to increase perception and boost attention, that is only during the day. Come night time and it has the opposite effects. Studies show that the exposure to blue light from electronic devices reduces the amount of melatonin secreted at night. Melatonin is the hormone which controls the sleep-wake cycle helping you sleep naturally. The blue light from devices specifically stays in  the eye for a while after the device is put down altering the start of the sleep cycle. Turning off your phone an hour before you're going to sleep can drastically change every night’s sleep and feeling well rested the next morning. 

What to do / remedies
The most obvious remedy to this is to put your electronic devices down 1 hour before you go to sleep so your eyes can flush out the blue light, but if netflix is too demanding them there are measures to help! 

  • Night mode - Most electronic devices now provide a night mode that can be switched on when it starts to get dark. The night mode works in two ways; changing the bright white colours to dark colours and changing the light colour to an orange / red.
  • Laptop sheets - If it’s your laptop that is your kryptonite then try getting screen protectors that cover the bright light before you sleep. 
  • Blue light glasses - A new pair of glasses may be in order. These glasses are able to reflect the blue light that would normally enter your eye. This helps with prolonged computer usage for places such as work.

Social Media
In Europe people spend over 2 hours per day on social media. It’s not only the blue light that has become the problem, but the constant connection that people need to social media and messaging services. This is obstructing most peoples nightly routines as they are usually laying in bed with their phone in their hand trying to stay connected. A study showed that teenagers are more likely to hold off going to sleep to stay on their phone because of social media. This affects the sleeping habits and makes it harder for them to fall asleep.