Does Technology Really Affect Our Sleep?
You went to bed and fell asleep only to hear that annoying phone notification sound. It woke you up, and now it’s hard to fall back to sleep. The smallest of things can disrupt your sleeping schedule, and these disturbances often originate from our electronic devices.
Technology affects our sleep, but there are ways to manage and prevent this. Our guide discusses the connection between technology and sleep and offers tips on how to make an electronic-free bedtime routine. Here is what you should know about getting better sleep in the technology era!
How Does Technology Affect Your Sleep?
Before we head to potential solutions, let’s see how technology and sleep are related. Here is why electronic devices can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep!
1. Bright Light Reduces Melatonin Production
Smartphones, tablets, and laptops emit bright light. You might have turned the lights in your bedroom off and minimized the brightness on the screens. But your brain still recognizes the light, and it compromises melatonin production.
Your brain produces melatonin in dark environments. It’s important to achieve a circadian rhythm, which is your body’s internal clock. The darkness leads to melatonin production, and that signals your body it’s Time to sleep. But if there’s a bright light from the screen around you, it could be confusing and affect your circadian rhythm
2. Keeping You Alert and Stimulated
You might think playing games on your phone is relaxing. But if that game requires solving problems like matching three characters, that stimulates your brain. It’s not something you need when you are about to fall asleep. Once you decide to put your phone away, your brain could take longer to get into a “sleep zone.”
3. Staying Up Longer Than Planned
The show you are watching on Netflix is fantastic. Despite being sleepy, you stay to watch another episode. And then it ends in a cliffhanger, and you play one more. It ends up staying up until the middle of the night. You sleep only four hours, and it disrupts your focus during the day. Once you get back home from work, you need to get some sleep. Unfortunately, it makes you stay up at night, and you enter a vicious cycle.
Technology makes us stay up longer than we planned. You’ve surely said, “just to finish another episode or level of this game” at least once. If you want to balance technology and sleep, it’s important not to let electronic devices affect your bedtime routine.
4. Alerts in the Middle of the Night
If you leave your notifications active, you could receive an alert at 3 AM. It’s an entirely random notification about an app update, but it woke you up. And there are nights when this happens more than once, which compromises your sleep quality.
It takes Time to get used to the fact you won’t miss anything important if you put your phone on silent. And modern smartphones have the option to allow calls and messages of certain people to bypass the silent setting. Use that advantage to get better sleep at night.
5. Your Brain Doesn’t Know It’s Sleeping Time
You head to bed, but take your phone with you. But even after browsing the news sites and playing games for hours, you still aren’t sleepy. It’s because your brain doesn’t get the message that it’s sleeping time. If you use your phone, the brain believes it’s a social area. It’s better to read a book, talk, or cuddle with your partner.
How to Recognize Poor Sleep Quality
The experts indicate that adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night. But it’s not only about quantity, but also the quality of your sleep. Here is what can lead to poor sleep quality:
- Irregular sleep schedule. If you often go to bed at different times, it could be why you aren’t getting better sleep.
- Poor mattress quality. The mattress should fit your needs. For example, Nectar and other back pain mattresses are suitable for those who have that type of problem. If it’s time to switch your mattress, don’t postpone, as it can significantly contribute to better sleep.
- Alcohol and caffeine. Consuming coffee and alcoholic drinks late in the afternoon or evening could affect your sleep.
- Stress. If you go to bed nervous, it can result in insomnia and worsen overall sleep quality.
- Anxiety and depression. Even though you might find yourself spending more time in bed due to these conditions, it doesn’t necessarily mean your sleep quality is adequate.
- Sleep apnea and other disorders. If you have sleep apnea, your breathing might lapse temporarily while you are sleeping. Other conditions like narcolepsy and PLMD can influence how well you sleep, too.
- Health conditions. Other health problems, such as asthma, lung disease, and acid reflux, could also affect sleep quality.
Tips to Improve Your Sleep in the Technology Era
Consistent sleep is essential for your health and staying energized for daily activities. Check out these tips to promote better sleep in this electronic era:
- Deactivate alerts. Most phones have an option to set Do Not Disturb mode. You can choose hours when your smartphone will go silent. Deactivating alerts whenever you get a notification is important to relax and get in a sleeping mood.
- Forget about screens before bedtime. Apart from smartphones, you should also steer clear of laptops, tablets, and even TVs in the evening. Implement a no-screen rule for at least 60 minutes before heading to bed. You can read a book or even meditate to relax.
- No electronic devices in bed. It could be tempting to check if there are important notifications on your phone before falling asleep. But if you are already in bed, try to steer clear of any electronic devices.
- Relax before you head to bed. Use technology to your advantage and play soothing music, and ASMR audio recordings can promote relaxation. Writing a journal and reflecting on your day helps to get your thoughts straight. But make sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day.
- It’s all about the bedtime routine. The research emphasizes the importance of sleep quality for children, but it matters equally for adults. If you have a pattern, your organism will follow a certain schedule. It ensures you fall asleep easier, which contributes to better sleep quality.
It’s hard to achieve a bedtime routine in a technology era. Electronic devices are essential for work and social reasons. You use them to have fun by playing games and watching different content. However, the experts say your bedtime routine should contain as little technology as possible. It’s best to get a good book and head to bed to read before you fall asleep.
Apart from relaxing, a top-quality mattress secures a better sleep. For example, a Dreamcloud mattress selection is versatile and offers options for all sleeper types, but you can try Emma, Simba Sleep, and other premium brands. Check out our mattress reviews to get recommendations on top products currently available. And remember – an excellent mattress is vital to optimizing your rest quality. It will ensure you get that good night’s sleep you’ve always been dreaming about!