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Do electronics prevent you from having a good night sleep?

By | 2018-06-13T14:21:04+00:00 May 27th, 2014|Recent Posts, Uncategorized|0 Comments

You have heard time and time again that your children shouldn’t have TVs or computers in their bedroom, but it might expand even further than that. Besides fearing your children are watching TV 24/7 or stumbling upon something inappropriate, having electronics in the bedroom can affect sleep! This goes for adults and children alike. Tablets, cell phones, TVs, game systems and computers influence the type of sleep we will have during the night.

Researchers have found that the radiation from cell phones can cause problems in the sleep cycle. What they found is radiation delays and reduces sleep. One interesting factor they found was children and teens that use their phones often at night can develop ADHD-like symptoms. Professor Bengt Arnetz, who led this study, suggests that cell phones may activate the system in the brain that controls stress, causing it to be more active and less likely to relax and unwind to fall asleep.

Science lesson:

There are many kinds of light; green light, red light, blue light, white light and more. Blue light is the light that “boost attention, reactions times and mood. Blue light is pretty beneficial to the body in the day! Blue light has the shortest wavelength, while red has the longest wavelength. What does this have to do with how you’re sleeping? Light in general affects how we sleep. Exposure to artificial light at night changes the body’s circadian rhythm, which is linked to the release of melatonin (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201309/blocking-blue-light-helps-sleep). Melatonin is the hormone the body produces to make you tired.

Our electronics that we use every day uses artificial light, most common blue light. Blue light is the most disruptive light to the body at night, even though its good for us in the day! Blue light suppresses the production of melatonin the most out of all the light.

Note: Even the lights that help the environment like florescent and LED lights may be harming your sleep cycle because they produce more blue light than incandescent.

To help block blue light there are goggles you can purchase, but more than likely you won’t go out and buy a pair of these stylish things any time soon.

blue block

And you probably won’t turn off all the lights and just sit in the dark until it’s time for bed.

Here are some other tips to prevent those electronics from causing restless night
1.) Go out and soak up the natural light during the day! This will give your circadian rhythm a boost and make you better prepared for sleep.
2.) Stop using your electronics two hours before bedtime, so your body can wind down. I know what you’re thinking, What am I supposed to do for two hours without my phone or the TV?! Lets start with baby steps, try stowing all your electronics away at least an hour before bed.
3.) Turn off your electronics when bedtime rolls around, this will prevent you from answering a late night text or scanning Facebook once you are already snuggled in bed.
4.) Leave all electronics outside of the bedroom, so they won’t tempt you. This may mean investing in an alarm clock if you typically use your phone to wake up.
5.) For those of you that read with a tablet, turn your screen brightness to a low level, so it isn’t emanating as much disturbing light.

**For more info on electronics, light and sleep read these articles:

1.) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201309/blocking-blue-light-helps-sleep
2.) http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/light-from-laptops-tvs-electronics-and-energy-efficient-lightbulbs-may-harm-health
3.) http://chriskresser.com/how-artificial-light-is-wrecking-your-sleep-and-what-to-do-about-it
4.) http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/mobile-phone-radiation-wrecks-your-sleep-771262.html