Without a doubt, technological advances have made modern communication easier. We are more interconnected via social media than at any point in history. News stories break at record speed with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, and any number of web platform.
However it is not just the Luddites of the world that aren’t 100% thrilled about what this constant connection is doing to our overall health.
While the thought of technology being a drain on society may seem old fashioned, one thing is for certain, cell phones, computer, and tablets have had a negative impact on our sleeping habits.
What’s the issue?
The human body’s naturally occurring clock, referred to as the circadian rhythm, has evolved within us as a species after millions of years of waking at sunrise and sleeping at sunset. As a person approaches sleep the body increases production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that aids in regulating sleep patterns.
Electricity changed all this but it wasn’t until more modern technology came along that it has really become an issue. Research has shown that the blue light emitted by technology such as, cellular phones, tablets, and laptops inhibits the production of the melatonin.
When melatonin levels decrease, so does the quality of sleep. REM is the most important of the 5 levels of sleep. REM is the state in which your body gets the deepest rest and repair.
And as the melatonin decreases, so does the amount of REM.
Another pitfall of nonstop attachment to an electronic device is that the mind will not have a chance to relax and wind down. Being able to lie in bed without constant stimulation is essential to quality sleep. Not only quality sleep, but being able to relax to the point of falling asleep, period, is much less possible with a bombardment of stimuli.
There are many opportunities to allow oneself an improved night’s sleep.
Just say no
It goes without saying, but we are going to say it anyway, simply implementing a policy of zero screen time before bed is quite possibly the best remedy. But in all honesty, the current business and world climate make that nearly impossible.
But if you just HAVE to have to use your phone constantly…
Use night mode
Most cellular devices and tablets are equipped with a night mode. This mode adjust the screen of your device. This adjustment automatically filters the blue light emissions from your screen.
This is helpful because, as mentioned earlier, blue light hinders the production of melatonin, and as we’ve discussed melatonin is one of the key components of a restful sleep.
Blue light blocking apps
A quick search in whatever application marketplace your device uses will bring up numerous results for blue light blocking applications. This will allow you to set an automatic transition on your phone screen so that after a predetermined time your phone transfers to a warmer light screen
Lock yourself out
It is also worth mentioning that many devices have the ability to set a limit on the usage times. Activating this feature will ensure that you are not able to utilize your device, so long as you do not deactivate the time limit.
If that sounds like a bit much you can just track your use so you have a daily reminder of how much you use your phone. This can be surprisingly effective at cutting down usage.
Blue light blocking glasses
If you want to go the whole hog and block out not just your screens but all blue light after sundown. These glasses do exactly what you would expect a blue light blocking pair of glasses to do, they block out the blue light.
Blue light glasses might not be everyone’s first choice, but they have been shown to increase REM sleep.
If the thought of wearing those glasses makes you cringe, you can try an over the counter melatonin sleep aid.
The melatonin sold over the counter must be taken a described, and before taking this step always contact your physician.
Put more effort in
The above are all aids to help you combat blue light fatigue but the responsibility of good sleep lies in your hands. The most important countermeasure is self-awareness. Know your routine and what works for you.
Author: Slumberless Team
Slumberless is a small group of people that are passionate about finding ways to have a more restful sleep every night