How often have you found yourself tucking into bed, reaching for your mobile phone/tablet/laptop to check Facebook one last time? You’re all but ready to go to sleep, but decide to lazily scroll through Instagram on your phone, or play a brief game on your tablet before closing your eyes.
It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s likely the reason why you’ve been having a hard time falling asleep. Here are some of the reasons why–
Light emitted by devices suppress natural sleep hormone (Melatonin)
Numerous studies note that the blue light emitted by LED screens used in cellphones, tablets, computers, and television can slow or even halt the production of melatonin, which is the body’s natural sleep hormone.
“The use of light-emitting electronic devices for reading, communication, and entertainment has greatly increased recently. We found that the use of these devices before bedtime prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep, delays the circadian clock, suppresses levels of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, reduces the amount and delays the timing of REM sleep, and reduces alertness the following morning,” explains a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
Basically, exposure to light in the evening disrupts your natural sleep/wake cycle, and limits the production of melatonin.
Gadgets keep your brain engaged and alert
When it’s time to sleep, your brain naturally begins to slow down and goes into resting mode. Reaching for your phone to send a couple of emails, checking your twitter feed, or even watching a movie before you go to bed can trick your brain into thinking that it needs to be awake. This leads to you tossing and turning in your bed long after you’ve put your phone away.
You’ve already spent an entire day surrounded by technology, it’s time to give your brain rest.
EMFs can affect your sleep
Electromagnetic frequency (EMF) is the kind of radiation that wireless gadgets emit, and it can affect your ability to fall asleep.
“EMFs from man made devices have a higher rate of oscillation (vibrate at a higher number of cycles) than the natural electromagnetic fields of your body at rest. The electrical current in your home is generally between 50-60 Hz. In contrast, the ideal frequency in your brain in sleep drops to as low as 2 Hz,” explains Earthcalm.
When your brain tunes into the EMF frequency from nearby gadgets, it tends to prevent you from falling asleep, or even pull you out of sleep.
Sleep loss has far greater consequences than missing your alarm in the morning. The quality of your sleep is an important factor in allowing your body to recover from daily stress and anxiety. Sleep deprivation is closely associated with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. In addition, it also contributes to poor work performance, driving accidents, and can cause mood swings.
Some helpful tips you may try –
- If you must use your gadgets before bedtime, make sure you adjust the hue of the screen to lower the blue light emitted. iPhone users can switch to Night Shift, and desktop users can try using Flux, which automatically adapts screen hue based on the time of the day.
- To make sure your gadgets aren’t affecting your sleep, try to give yourself at least half an hour of gadget-free transition time before hitting the sack.
- Keep your gadgets at a safe distance while you’re sleeping. If possible, keep your computer, phone, TV, and tablets in a separate room. If this isn’t possible, make sure there is ample distance between your bed and your gadgets.
- Switch your phone and tablet to airplane mode, before going to sleep
- Don’t keep gadgets on your bed.
- Use accessories specifically designed to limit your exposure to EMF made by a trusted and reliable brand. For options, visit Vesttech.com to browse through an entire range of anti-radiation products, not just for cellphones, but for other common household appliances that emit EMF.
Keep these tips in mind before going to bed and see for yourself the difference it makes–you’ll be sleeping a full eight hours and waking up rested and full of energy in no time.