When Tech Attacks!
Okay. I have this dirty little secret. I have developed a baaaad habit. I know that many of you are guilty of it too. That is why I decided to come out and tell you. I USE MY IPAD RIGHT BEFORE BED! Yes! This past year I have started reading random articles, pinning on Pinterest, watching Youtube and more right before I fall asleep. For some reason I was thinking that using my tablet would help me to wind down and I would end up falling asleep faster. Wrong! What ended up happening was it caused me to experience sleep problems. I began tossing and turning in my sleep as well as mumbling in my sleep all night long! My husband finally came out and told me that he was having a hard time sleeping due to my night time movement and mumbling. I was actually surprised as I did not realize that I was so active at night. I will admit that I haven't been feeling as refreshed in the morning as I should have been, but I figured I was just fatigued from work.
This new "Bad Habit" is very surprising being that I haven't been a fan of having a television in my bedroom for over 10 years. I always felt that televisions belonged in dens or family rooms and not in bedrooms. This thinking was based on the fact that bedroom televisions could increase the temptation of watching t.v until late at night. I realized that watching t.v. late as well as falling asleep with the t.v on was not a good habit as it would not allow the brain to turn down for deep sleep. Being snapped back into reality encouraged me to do research on the effects of Computers and Tablets on sleeping habits.
Per the article "Really? Using a Computer Before Bed Can Disrupt Sleep", I learned how artificial light from using devices at night may affect brain chemicals that promote sleep.
The following points especially stood out to me:
"Electronic devices stimulate brain activity...disrupting your ability to drift off to sleep. But according to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 90 percent of Americans regularly use a computer or electronic device of some kind in the hour before bed."
" Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute showed that exposure to light from computer tablets significantly lowered levels of the hormone melatonin, which regulates our internal clocks and plays a role in the sleep cycle."
"... [a] study, published in the journal Applied Ergonomics...found that two hours of exposure to a bright tablet screen at night reduced melatonin levels by about 22 percent."
"researchers say melatonin suppression may not only cause sleep disturbances, but also raise the risk of obesity, diabetes and other disorders."
I also learned a lot about the effects of Blue Light on eye health. An article that I read stated that "Blue light is harmful because it's the highest energy wavelength of visible light, able to penetrate all the way to the back of the eye. Although blue light is nothing new, the issue for concern is the amount of blue light exposure that we get each day through technology use. Over time, blue light can impair visual daily performance, disrupt our ability to sleep, and contribute to the development of macular degeneration."
With this information, I decided to set limits on my technology use. I already performed a few sleep trials to help pinpoint the cause of my night time activity. I turned off all of my devices 3 hours before bed. Believe it or not, I was able to sleep soundly, I did not toss and turn as much, and my husband reported that I did not mumble at all! Problem solved!
I suggest you try it as well and make note of how refreshed you start to feel each day!