Are you struggling with the quality of your sleep? If so, it may have more to do with the surrounding technology than you think. Sure, technology is great for making lives easier, but it can also lead to significant problems with how you sleep daily. By distancing yourself from the technology, you will likely experience more enjoyable nights of rest while cutting down on some of the other issues that stem from the lack of shuteye. But just how is technology impacting you? Here is what you need to know about how technology affects sleep you’re experiencing.
How Technology Affects Sleep
Bright Lights are a No-No
There is a reason why you turn the lights off to sleep. It is because light will block the production of melatonin production within your body. This means with lights on, you will not feel as sleepy, nor will you get the quality of sleep you need. With phones, tablets, computers, and televisions, you are essentially blasting bright light right into your face, which prevents the melatonin production. It can take the body up to 90 minutes to begin creating melatonin after the last harsh light disappears.
Due to this, the best way to improve the overall level of sleep you experience is to stop watching television or using any device with a screen at least an hour and a half before bed. You can still read, as you will not be looking directly at the light, and your nightstand lamp is not as bright as the tablet and cell phone. This will help your body naturally wind down as melatonin production increases.
You may also want to avoid taking melatonin supplements. This is a quick fix if you’re suffering some sleep problems, but you probably don’t want to add this to your daily regimen of supplements. If you’re constantly adding melatonin to your nightly routine, your body will detect it and stop producing as much as it should. When this happens, you’ll be hijacking its ability to produce melatonin naturally. Eventually, your body might be able to recover, but the longer you use the supplement, the longer it will take to begin producing the amount you need to fall asleep.
Thankfully, you can avoid these kinds of issues by simply putting down all the screens and cutting yourself off from technology for at least 90 minutes before going to bed.
Brain Struggles To Fall Asleep
There is more to struggling with sleep than just the reduction of melatonin. With technology, especially technology you interact with, such as video games or computers, your brain is still wide awake and alert. Your brain does not simply shut off like a light switch. Again, it takes time for it to slow down its thought process and to allow itself to fall asleep.
Have you ever crawled into bed, shut your eyes, and yet your brain kept thinking of different things? It literally won’t shut off, even if the rest of your body craves sleep. This is often due to your brain still being alert. Think of it as if you’re eating a meal. You are extremely hungry, yet before you’ve had your fill, someone takes the food away. Your stomach is still hungry. It takes some time for your body to begin digesting the food and for you to feel satisfied. The brain is the same way. It’s being stimulated by what you’re doing or watching, so even when the TV or phone is turned off, your brain is left wanting more.
It is recommended to stop using screen-based technology two hours before bed to give your brain enough time to slow down and prep itself for rest. For some, this might be a challenge, especially if you need to work on some assignments, but ideally, to maximize your quality of sleep, you’ll want to stop using screen-based tech as early on into the evening as you can.
Perhaps your body and mind are both ready for sleep, but maybe you’re just ignoring it. How many times have you watched a show on Netflix come to an end, the next episode begins, and even though you know, it’s past your bedtime you shrug it off and decide to watch the episode. After all, you need closure to what happened to the previous episode. That might be great for what you talk about at work the next day, but it’s terrible for your sleep. This is because you are simply distracting your body from falling asleep.
Maybe you’re playing video games, and you say you’ll stop at the end of the next level, but that next level comes, and you keep pushing the time back. Or you’re reading a news article on your phone, and decide to keep reading because what you’re viewing is important. Whatever you’re doing, you’re distracting yourself from sleep. The only way you’ll ever get a full night’s sleep is if you put a set time on when all technology must be turned off.
Some Technology Can Help
While screens and localized technology may cause you to suffer a lack of sleep, there are forms of technology that can help improve the quality of your sleep. After all, while there are some negatives with how technology affects sleep, you will also find there are several benefits. You just need to know what benefits are best for you. Sleep Number Beds can help you with this. You have an optimal firmness level when it comes to your bed. Some like a firmer mattress, others will sleep better when the mattress is software.
With a Sleep Number Bed, you’ll be able to perfectly customize your bed, to perfectly fit the quality of sleep you’re looking for. So, if you’re ready to take the next step in improving your sleep, now is the time to begin the process of selecting the right mattress for your unique sleeping needs.