Before modern technology, humans got much better sleep. With the rise of the digital era, we are no longer sleeping as well as our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. Now, nearly everyone keeps a smartphone within arm’s reach at all times, stays up late to binge watch TV shows, plays video games, works on their laptop, and connects socially – it’s the new norm. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 95% of Americans admit to using a technological device within an hour of bedtime. While there are obvious benefits to being constantly connected with technology, improving your sleep quality is not one of them.
Blue Light’s Dark Side
You’ve probably heard it before and will undoubtedly hear it again: the blue light emitted from your smartphone, tablet, TV and computer screen is one of the main reasons for your tossing and turning. The blue light wavelengths are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost your alertness, your ability to think clearly and your mood. However, it has been found that blue light-emitting devices also suppress your body’s natural production of melatonin. Without enough melatonin, your sleep and wake cycles can be thrown off, resulting in poor sleep.
Too Much Stimulation
If you never give your mind a break from the technology constantly stimulating it, you are more likely to have problems unwinding and falling asleep. Scrolling through your Facebook feed, writing up a quick response to a work email or catching one more episode of your latest favorite show may all seem like innocent tasks, but they keep your mind engaged in circular thoughts, tricking it into thinking you should be awake. This makes it much harder for you to wind down from the day and relax so your body can start preparing for a good night’s sleep.
Noise and Sounds
Even if blue light wasn’t a factor, your phone could still disrupt your sleep. With access to people throughout the world, email, phone calls and text notifications can come at all hours of the night. All it takes is one notification as you’re trying to drift off to dreamland to wake you from your precious sleep state and send your mind wandering and even stressing.
Coping With the Impact of Technology on Sleep
While it is usually easier said than done, there are a few things you can do to detox from technology before bed, so you can get the sleep you need.
To improve your sleep, you may need to change your routine. If your bedtime habits include falling asleep to the evening news or chatting with a friend on Messenger, you may want to consider avoiding bright screens within one to three hours before bed. This will allow your body the time it needs to naturally prepare for sleep without constant stimulation from your screens. If you work late at night and use screen-tech devices, you may want to consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters blue/green light at night.
De-Tech Your Sleep Space
It can be hard to keep your TV turned off or to avoid your phone when both are an integral part of your sleep space. Consider ridding your bedroom of technology that keeps you up at night. Leave your phone and other electronics outside your bedroom so you are less likely to reach for them. The main focus of your bedroom should be to promote sleep.
If you can’t part with your devices before bed, you should update their settings to lessen their effect on your sleep quality. Try putting your phone on Do Not Disturb mode to limit or eliminate notifications.
Try REMfresh Melatonin
Sometimes even after changing your bedtime habits, you still don’t get the sleep you need to function at your prime. Fortunately, there is more you can do to get sufficient sleep support. REMfresh, a melatonin sleep aid, was developed to mimic your body’s natural melatonin production which can be impacted by a number of factors, including technology. REMfresh is the only melatonin product delivering clinically-tested, ultra-pure, high-quality melatonin for up to 7 hours – helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. You can purchase REMfresh melatonin tablets online on the REMfresh website or through Amazon. You can also find REMfresh at your local Walmart, CVS or Rite Aid.
In today’s digital world, your sleep is more likely to suffer. With some simple changes, however, you can lessen the effect technology is having on your sleep quality.