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Turn off Electronics Well Before Bedtime

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We all spend hours upon hours each day looking at our phones, tablets, computers and televisions. Some of the hours are the ones leading up to bedtime, when we need to check our emails just one last time, or have to watch the end of the game on TV. However, research shows that being exposed to those screens so close to shut-eye can interfere with our sleep.

The blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. Reducing melatonin makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. Checking emails or glancing at social media can also keep our brains engaged, and make it difficult to fall asleep once the lights go out. To avoid difficulty falling asleep, tune out all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you try to go to sleep.

Even if you are not using your cell phone before bed, that doesn’t mean it can’t harm your sleep. Keeping it within reach can still cause sleeplessness due to noises or flashing light come from the device. The National Sleep Foundation says 72 percent of children ages six to 17 sleep with at least one electronic device in their bedroom, causing them to get less sleep.

Lack of sleep is a problem for everyone as sleepiness can affect work and school performance, mood, driving habits, and your health. It’s especially bad for the younger generation because they are still developing.

If you need a digital clock for the alarm, make sure you cover the clock face or put a towel over it so the light doesn’t disturb you. If you set the alarm on your mobile phone, make sure you turn off all notifications and lay the phone face down on your night table so you aren’t disturbed by the light.

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