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On Standby: How Technology Impacts Your Sleep

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How technology impacts your sleep

 

Picture the scene. You’re tossing and turning at night, unable to catch a decent amount of sleep between the light from your laptop and the glare of your phone screen.

We’re living in an era dominated by technology. This we’re all aware of.

But, this has both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to bedtime.

While it can be problematic, this isn’t the only side of the story.

We thought we’d delve a little deeper into the issue. Here’s how technology impacts your sleep.

 

The Dark Side of Technology at Night

At face value, it appears that technology and sleep shouldn’t mix.

For those wondering how to relax before bed, turning off all electronics is a good idea. Let’s explore just why that is:

Bright Lights

When using electronic devices before or in bed, the strong bright light from mobile phones, laptops and tablets sends signals to your brain that it’s daylight. This suppresses melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep.

Melatonin is usually released into the blood around 9pm, with levels during the day virtually non-existent. However, if production slows down at night, you’ll struggle to fall asleep.

There’s a direct correlation between lack of sleep and our much-loved gadgets. So, if you find yourself lying awake at night tossing and turning, you might have just found out why.

Mental Stimulation

Using devices before bed stimulates your brain.

Whether it’s the businesswoman who can’t take a break from checking her emails, or the avid young gamer who just can’t put their gadgets to one side, everyone’s guilty of failing to switch off sometimes.

But, if this occurs on a regular basis, you’ll start to feel the detrimental impact a lack of sleep brings. Lying in bed is the time to destress, not keep busy!

Increased Adrenaline

Two things that don’t go together?

Sleep and adrenaline.

Unsurprisingly, engaging your brain with information, emotions, and decisions before bed isn’t the best idea.

What you may not know is that these activities increase the release of adrenaline, keeping you awake and alert.

Disassociation from Sleep

Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, the only room in your house where you relax, unwind and sleep after a long day.

But, when you start to bring technology into bedrooms, such as a laptop for work, or your video games, you start to associate your bedroom with stress, entertainment and socialising – instead of rest and sleep.

After a prolonged period of this, your brain will stop associating your bedroom with a sanctuary and make it harder for your body to fall asleep.

The solution? Keep tech out of the bedroom!

Unintentional Time Wasting

Technology – whether in the form of a computer game, scrolling through Instagram, or using an app – can be addictive.

Without realising, people become easily engrossed and lose track of time!

The problem with this is that you end up staying awake later than you should. So, while some claim technology doesn’t directly impact their sleep, they might be unaware of the disruptive impact.

Disturbed Sleep

Who hasn’t forgotten to put their phone on silent?

Keeping mobile phones beside your bed or underneath your pillow can disturb your sleep.

 

How technology impacts your sleep

 

You May Also Like: No More Tossing and Turning: How to Sleep When Stressed

 

How Can Technology Help You Sleep?

But, there are two sides to every story!

While refusing to detach from your phone or laptop can be problematic, for some, technology has revolutionised how they sleep.

Filter Out the Blue Light

When it comes to sleep, not all ‘rules’ apply to everyone! So, if you fancy having a late-night scroll through your phone, how can you ensure your body won’t punish you for it by slowing down melatonin production?

There is a solution! Blue light filter shields can help you use your beloved screens without supressing melatonin.

These screen protectors block the harmful blue light, helping you to fall asleep.

The filter feature is also now available on Apple iPhone. When switched on it reduces the blue light, making the light warmer, so that looking at your phone doesn’t affect your circadian rhythm.

Not only does this help you fall asleep, but it also protects your eyes from the harmful impact of straining due to the light. It’s a win-win!

Trick Your Body

Dimmable bulbs and light boxes are designed to help you sleep better by mimicking the natural sunset.

These lights start to dim slowly over 30 minutes.

Love to get to sleep on time? The gradual dimming allows your body to shift and prepare for bed, therefore allowing it to produce enough melatonin.

These bulbs and light boxes also help maintain a good sleeping routine, as once the lights start to dim, you know it’s time for bed.

Tune Out Distractions

Podcasts are another great way to help you doze off!

Listening to calm meditation podcasts that guide you through breathing techniques, or even gently-spoken bedtime stories, can help you escape your worries and anxiety.

Alternatively, just listening to podcasts that offer sleep inducing sounds is another great way to get your body to relax and fall asleep.

Block Out All Noise

When it’s hard to fall asleep with external noises, anxiety or an over-active mind, a white noise app or machine can really help.

The white noise, such as sounds of nature or the sea, helps mask any outside distractions and even helps to block out anxious thoughts, helping you to relax and drift off into a deep sleep.

Monitor Your Sleep

Sleep monitors are great gadgets to help you fall asleep better.

These monitors are embedded in your mattress or worn on your body to monitor and sensor your sleeping position, temperature, lighting and external sounds.

This technology records the information for you to assess if the temperature or sleeping positions are stopping you from sleeping.

So, when it comes to technology in bed, it’s a mixed bag. You just need to find what works for you! Something that never fails to make you sleep better is the right bedding. Drifting off on 100% organic cotton every night is an unbeatable feeling! Browse our full range of luxury bedding here.


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