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How using tech before bed can lead to poor sleep

Not using screen devices at least two hours before bed is ultimately the best way to reduce its effect on your sleep. 

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Image: Casper

Technology is ubiquitous in nearly everyone’s lives these days. Many people interact with some form of technology almost every hour that they’re awake. There’s no doubt that technology serves many purposes.

For some people, working with technology is their income while for others it’s entertainment or convenience. However, the way technology accompanies many people into the evening hours and into bed may not be healthy. Let’s take a look at why using technology before bed can cause you to have poor sleep.

Bright Lights

Your body naturally signals your brain when it’s time to sleep through the release of melatonin. As you absorb bright light through your eyes, the melatonin release is delayed, which makes it hard to fall asleep. The light exposure also causes your brain to enter a stage of increased alertness. Some studies show that people feel less sleepy after using their phones or computers for only one and a half hours. There are a few ways you can combat this. If you need to use technology at night, then you switch your device out of blue light or dim the screen. 

Increased Alertness

The other reason that using phones or computers before bed increases alertness is because it fills your mind with information and knowledge, which may start the process of racing thoughts. There are two types of technology stimulation. Passive stimulation includes listening to music, watching shows or movies on a TV or computer, and reading e-books. Active stimulation usually includes browsing the web, playing games, and posting on social media. Both types can potentially disrupt your sleep. 

Extra Distraction

Using a screen device before bed also provides several potential distractions during use. If you’re reading a book you might plan to only read one chapter and then end up staying up later than you wanted as you read several. If you’re playing a game, beating one level might become several. The same applies to watching episodes of a show or posting on social media. In other words, many times it’s hard to limit whatever you’re doing on a device to only a little. This can lead you to stay up much later than you wanted to without even realizing it.

How To Minimize Tech Effect On Your Sleep

You can start by regulating your tech use throughout the day so that it’s not as tempting to use at night. The other thing to consider is what type of tech you’re using in the evening. Studies show that frightening shows or violent games can make it hard to relax. News programs that show violence can do the same thing.

Those who listen to music at night often end up having nightmares, TV watchers often have issues with sleepwalking. In the evening, you should choose funny, pleasant and relaxing media options. Another thing to try is dimming lights as bedtime draws near. Dim the lights in your house and on your devices. Switch your phone into night mode if possible and lower the brightness on your computer. Yet another ploy is to move tech items out of your bedroom to remove the temptation. 

Not using screen devices at least two hours before bed is ultimately the best way to reduce its effect on your sleep. 

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