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Is your tech usage keeping you up at night?

Whether or not you have to get up early for a job, it’s generally not a good habit to spend all night hooked on tech.

sleep tech from casper
Image: Casper

Many things can cause sleeping troubles. Our relationship with technology is one common contributing factor.

Below are a few ways your tech usage could damage your sleep and how you can prevent these sleep problems. 

Is tech addiction keeping you awake?

Addiction to technology, whether social media, video games, or TV, can cause many of us to lose track of time.

It’s easy to keep telling yourself, one more Youtube video, one more game, or one more episode. Then, before you know it, it’s 3 am, and you’ve got work in the morning. 

Whether or not you have to get up early for a job, it’s generally not a good habit to spend all night hooked on tech.

ANC headphones on top of a laptop keyboard
Image: Unsplash

Constant late nights could end up upsetting your entire circadian rhythm making it impossible to get to sleep before 3 AM, even when you want to.

Meanwhile, you’ll be sleeping away the day when the rest of society functions. 

Ways to combat this

There are a few ways in which you can fight back against your all-night tech binges.

A few measures that could be worth taking include:

  • Setting a cut-off time and sticking to it. This should be enough that you have an hour to unwind before bed with no tech and at least 7 hours to sleep. So if you have to get up at 7 am, you should set a cut-off point at 11 pm.
  • If you have a habit of binge-watching shows, consider turning off auto-play and giving yourself an episode limit per night. Then, learn to savor TV shows – the finale will be more rewarding!
  • If you lose track of time watching YouTube videos or gaming, you could set an alarm that tells you when you need to get off. Don’t ignore this alarm.
  • Consider keeping gadgets out of your room at night, so you don’t have the temptation to interact with them. If you use your phone as an alarm but are tempted to use it all night, consider placing it on the other side of the room or switching to an old-fashioned alarm clock to keep your phone in another room. 

Are you looking at screens before bed?

guy looking at his phone
Image: Pixabay

It’s not just tech addiction that can keep people up at night.

Some people can go to bed at a reasonable time but find it challenging to get to sleep because they’ve been interacting with bright screens shortly beforehand.

Research has shown that the blue light from digital devices can trick our brains into thinking it’s still daytime, preventing the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

This, in turn, can make it harder to get to sleep. How you interact with devices shortly before bed may also affect your sleep.

Watching an action-packed TV episode or playing a challenging video game may not be the best thing to do directly before going to bed, as your whole body may buzz from the experience. 

Ways to combat this

Man sleeping
Image: Pexels

You can take various measures to prevent blue light from screens causing insomnia.

Examples include:

  • Not using devices with screens an hour before bed. Instead, consider reading a paperback book, taking a bath, journaling, or doing something else (nothing too energizing or stress-inducing). 
  • Alternatively, use apps such as Flux that help to reduce the blue light from devices as it gets late. Using night mode on apps may also help. 
  • It’s also possible to buy glasses that block out blue light. Wearing these while using devices before bed may stop the blue light from interfering with your sleep.
  • Avoid engaging with anything too thrilling or thought-provoking just before bed; watching something before bed should be something relaxing or you can zone out from. Avoid challenging video games an hour before bed.
  • Blue light exposure can delay the production of melatonin. However, you may be able to take sleep supplements to encourage your body to produce melatonin. Many herbal teas like chamomile, lemon balm, and valerian root are great for helping the body to relax. You could also try CBD or THC – these Delta 8 gummies could help you feel more relaxed and encourage melatonin production. Then, of course, you can also take melatonin supplements to give your body this hormone directly. Just be wary that long-term regular supplements may have unwanted side effects – try not to rely on them every night. 

Is indoor physical inactivity messing up your body clock?

Even if you’re getting to bed reasonably and avoiding all screens an hour before bedtime, your daytime tech habits could still cause sleep problems if you’re not careful.

Many of us who use tech all day live a sedentary lifestyle and spend most of the day indoors. Such a lifestyle can often make it more difficult to sleep at night.

Therefore, your circadian rhythm partly uses physical activity and sun exposure to determine when it is day and night.

Those who spend all day physically inactive and indoors are more likely to feel tired during the day and alert at night. The body doesn’t know when to trigger the sleep hormone.

Ways to combat this

woman jogging at sunset
Image: KnowTechie

Whether you’re working at a computer in an office all day or spending all day at home watching TV, it’s essential to integrate some exercise and outdoor time into your day to help aid your circadian rhythm.

A few measures worth taking include:

  • Leave the house every day – even if you do not need to. A five-minute walk outdoors could be important for reminding your body that it’s daytime.
  • If you work in an office in front of a screen, you don’t want to be eating lunch at your desk – use your lunch break to get outdoors and go for a brisk 5-minute walk. This will wake you up and help correct your body clock.
  • All your exercise and outdoor activity shouldn’t be done in the evening. By doing this, you could inadvertently energize yourself before going to bed. Morning jogs and morning gym trips may be better. 
  • Explore ways to use your tech while outdoors and on the go. Nowadays, you can reply to emails, watch TV series and use social media on your phone or a tablet from any location. 

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