We love staying connected throughout the day: whether we’re firing off emails at work, watching our favorite series on our laptop or sharing hilarious cat videos on social media. But are we running the risk of ruining a good night’s sleep if our brains are still digitally connected at night? If you’ve ever had a difficult time falling asleep, and chances are we all have at some point, you might want to consider setting an electronic curfew to improve your night’s rest.
According to a recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation, experts in this sort of thing, nearly half of the 1,500 people surveyed rarely or never get a good night’s sleep. And nearly everyone, 95 percent, reported using electronic devices within an hour of bedtime. Researchers are now, more than ever, cautioning the use of electronics right before bed, as the artificial light and cellular frequencies can suppress the release of our sleep hormone melatonin.
Between smart phones, tablets, computers and flat screens, most of us have a least two devices in our bedroom, often used simultaneously. This sensory overload makes it difficult for our minds to unwind and get the deep, extended sleep that we all need for our bodies and minds to recharge at night.
So, what are we to do about all of this digital overstimulation and our disrupted sleep cycles? There are a few adjustments that are worth a try:
- Set a digital curfew – One hour before bedtime remove all of the electronic devices from your bedroom. Power down your phone, tablet and computer and pick up a relaxing book.
- Skip the bedtime TV- Set a time limit on your nightly TV watching. If you feel you really need it to fall asleep, try setting an automatic timer for it to turn off.
- Consider an old school alarm clock – For those of us (and there are many of us) who rely on our smart phones to wake up, try using a non-digital clock with no digital lights.
How have your electronic devices affected your sleep? Let us know in the comments section and share your experiences with taking a digital rest.