Like a trusty guard dog, your smart phone probably rests right next to you (or even under your pillow) every night when you go to sleep. You’re able to answer calls, texts and emails at a moment’s notice – even during the wee hours of the night. And isn’t that the best part about technology? Always being connected and never truly shutting down or logging off? Not so fast. You probably don’t even realize how your smart phone habits are affecting your sleep.
1. It keeps your mind psychologically engaged
Smart phones were designed to make us more productive and our lives easier. They’re designed to entertain us and provide information. But when it’s time to turn off the lights and go to sleep, the last thing our brain needs is more information and more entertainment. (And that seems fair enough – we give our brains enough to think about during the day!)
The smart phone era has forced us to feel like we can never really log off, even when we’re sleeping. Your mind can stay active and engaged long after you’ve scrolled through Instagram or responded to a few work emails. Going to bed and falling asleep should be a peaceful, happy and relaxing experience. Engaging with your phone too close to bedtime can negatively impact those feelings.
2. The blue light from the screen suppresses melatonin
Blue light from screens of laptops, tablets and smartphones supresses melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone responsible for controlling your sleep-wake cycle. So when your body runs low on it, you can experience insomnia, tiredness during the day and irritability.
3. Alerts delay REM sleep
Knowing your smartphone is at hand can mean you are aware of new email alerts or social media alerts. These alerts or simply waiting for these alerts can delay REM sleep.
So if you want to improve the quality of your sleep simply have 1 hour technology free before bed.