How Screen Time Affects Your Sleep
Americans are simply not getting a sufficient amount of sleep at night. Now, with the many hours spent in front of TV’s, computer screens and cell phones, this sleep deficiency has gotten even worse. It is not so much the amount of time spent using these devices, but the actual glare/glow given off by the devices which presents the problem. Even the glow from alarm clocks is enough to affect your sleep.
Researchers have leaned that light restrains melatonin, a hormone needed to regulate sleep. This hormone is produced by the body through the pineal gland only during darkness. The use of artificial light during evening hours can shut down the production of melatonin. Increasing your body’s melatonin production will improve your sleep.
Blue light has a great propensity to change circadian rhythms. This is an interesting fact, considering that the color blue has always been considered a popular calming color. Even dim lighting can be a problem per many doctors. Studies have shown that normal light levels used in the average home, such as your bedside lamp can easily shift your body clock. With all the emailing, texting, and TV watching, we could be shifting our circadian rhythm/internal body clock.
Be aware that you could be risking your health. Studies have also shown poor sleep and blue light can lead to diabetes, depression, heart problems and obesity. Recently cancer has been added to this list as well. Many nighttime workers could have as much as a 50-60 percent chance of developing cancer. Particularly for women, this means breast cancer, and for men, prostate cancer.
We are now being told to power down our screen time to about two or three hours prior to bedtime. In general, it’s always a good idea to wind down from mental and physical activities before you go to sleep. If you absolutely need screen time in the hours preceding bedtime, then at least limit how much light is illuminating from your screen by adjusting the brightness, if possible.
A good way to get restful sleep at night is to expose yourself to plenty of bright light in the daytime. Doctors are saying that bright light can keep you alert, and can be helpful in resetting your body clock at night.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
You might also consider the use of special blue light blocking glasses with amber/orange lenses. Besides improving sleep with the use of these glasses, it can also improve wellness for people suffering from bipolar disorder by controlling their moods. It’s also been helpful in preventing postpartum depression, and even the depression, which sometimes accompanies pregnancy. Young people suffering from ADHD have reported a significant decrease in symptoms resulting from improved sleep. Many people with long-standing insomnia have reported developing normal sleeping patterns with the use of blue light blocking glasses.
Even though heightened awareness is surrounding the issue of proper sleep, most people brush it off as insignificant. As you can see, this can be a deadly mistake. Not only does the lack of a proper amount of sleep affect your general health; it also effects living a productive happy life. It would behoove parents to get their children into regular good sleeping habits right from the start.
Jonathan Williamson realizes the important of a good night’s sleep, which is why he writes this article on behalf of Memory Foam Express.
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