Advances in technology over the past 15 years have not only brought the world to our fingertips, they may also be interrupting our sleeping patterns! Recent studies have indicated that the majority of millennials (those aged between 18-34) go to sleep with their smartphone either in bed with them or on the nightstand next to them.
Does this sound like you? If so then you might be interested to learn how and why this may be ruining your evening sleep!
Firstly, and this is the most obvious reason, each time your phone buzzes, beeps or vibrates with a notification, text or call, you are going to be jarred from your restful state. Even if you chose not to check it, the sound, vibration or light is likely to stir you away from your drifting state, and possibly wake you if you have already fallen asleep.
Secondly, did you know that the light from the screen of your phone, tablet or computer actually suppresses melatonin production? This interference with melatonin production actually has an adverse effect on your natural circadian rhythms, which in turn makes it harder for you to fall asleep. If you are regularly staring at a screen until late at night, you risk putting your whole sleeping pattern out of whack.
Thirdly, conversations, shows/movies, games and work (all of which are common reasons for people to stay up using technology) all stimulate your brain. If you continue to stimulate your brain right up until the point of turning your lights off to sleep, you are going to have to wait for your brain to wind down, before you can actually drift off to sleep.
So if you would like to improve your sleep, and even regulate your sleeping patterns, the try finishing up with your phone, tablet, computer or tv an hour before you plan to sleep. This will give your body the time it needs to prepare, by stimulating melatonin production, and allowing your brain to wind down.
If you use your phone as your alarm, try leaving it on the other side of the room, or better still, invest in a good old fashioned alarm clock!