The Impact of Technology on Sleep: Tips for Better Rest in a Screen-Obsessed World
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our day-to-day life as we all know, a little change in our sleep schedule can affect our physical and mental health. In this era where we are bombarded with a thousand upcoming technologies, it has become obvious that we are becoming addicted to screens. Whether it’s a laptop, a mobile, or a television, we constantly use them one by one throughout the day. These devices may interrupt or negatively impact our sleeping patterns. Overexposure to these devices which emit blue light in the evening especially can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Multiple studies indicate that screen time before bed can increase the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, reduce the quality of sleep, and affect attentiveness the following day. In the long term exposure to these screens in the evening may increase the risk of certain disorders and various mental health concerns.
Technology can affect an individual sleep on multiple levels, for example, exposure to blue light can suppress the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone on the other hand it’s an advantage during the day because it keeps you alert and refreshed. However, the release of melatonin in the evening helps you relax before bedtime.
Also, Certain types of content may have a stronger impact on sleep. For example, studies have found that exciting or violent video games increase heart rate, make it harder to fall asleep, and impact sleep quality. In addition to the effects of technology and stimulating content, technology use may cut into time that is usually reserved for sleep. That’s why sleep hygiene recommendations usually advise against using the bed for anything else except sleep.
One study compared the sleep patterns of individuals who read a book before bedtime. One set of subjects read printed books, while the other group used e-readers that emitted blue light. The results indicated that the participants using light-emitting e-readers took longer to fall asleep, experienced poorer-quality sleep, and reported feeling less alert the following morning.
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A few tips to have better sleep in a screen-obsessed world:
Humans need consistent sleep each night to maintain their overall health. To achieve restful sleep try creating a bedtime routine for yourself and your family. Maintaining consistent habits each night can help you reach a more relaxed state and facilitate a smooth transition to sleep.
There are several ways to have a better bedtime routine in this digital era.
Turn off notifications or use a sleep mode:
You can customise your digital device to mute new messages and other notifications after a certain period of time. Toggle the settings of your smartphone and laptop apps to go silent in the evening. Or for better relaxation, you can simply turn on the sleep mode of your device where you will be restricted from unimportant notifications.
Establish a consistent relaxation routine:
A regular bedtime that ensures an adequate amount of rest is essential for healthy sleep. The hour before bed should consist of relaxing activities that don’t involve devices with screens. You can either take a bath or do meditation or yoga activities to make your bedtime more relaxing.
Decrease the usage of electronic devices:
Using electronic devices for long periods during the day can negatively impact sleep too. Common effects include shorter sleep duration, longer sleep onset, and more sleep deficiency. You can plan your day and make a schedule of your device usage accordingly so that you don`t spend most of your daytime using an electronic device.
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Maintain a consistent sleep schedule:
Maintaining a set time to fall asleep and wake up will help you to keep your bedtime routine consistent. A recent study indicates that individual who kept the same sleep schedule and reduced their exposure to blue light in the evening fell asleep more quickly and reported a better sleep quality than a group with an inconsistent sleep schedule.
Make your bedroom a screen-free zone:
While a lot of people prefer to keep a television in their bedroom, watching TV before bed is generally discouraged due to the negative effect it can have on your sleep. In fact, scholars recommend removing all of your electronic devices from your bedroom and encouraging your kids to do the same.
With the help of these tips and suggestions, we hope that you will be able to secure your peaceful sleep in this technology and screen-obsessed world.
In conclusion, recognizing and addressing the impact of technology on sleep is pivotal for fostering mental well-being. As our lives become increasingly intertwined with digital devices, acknowledging the potential disruptions to sleep patterns is a crucial step toward comprehensive mental health care. Implementing practical strategies, such as establishing technology-free bedtime routines and creating a sleep-conducive environment, can significantly contribute to improved sleep quality. Prioritizing rest not only enhances cognitive function and emotional resilience but also serves as a foundational element for overall mental health. By conscientiously managing our technological interactions and embracing habits that prioritize quality sleep, we empower ourselves to navigate the challenges of a digital age while promoting a holistic approach to mental health care. In essence, safeguarding our sleep is an integral component of a broader commitment to nurturing and sustaining mental well-being in the face of evolving technological landscapes.
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