May 18, 2015
It’s really convenient to lie on the foam of your bed while tinkering with your laptop, smartphone, or ebook reader. After all, it feels better to browse the internet, play games, or read an e-book while resting your back on something soft than while sitting on a hard, uncomfortable chair. But be warned, because using your gadgets before you sleep can actually ruin your sleep? Here’s to how and why!
After various experiments and studies, scientists stated that exposure to blue light from gadgets and electronic devices a few hours before going to bed negatively affects a person’s overall health, and the circadian clock which synchronizes the rhythm of sleep to external environmental time cues. Blue light also suppresses melatonin – a hormone essentially produced by the body to promote sleep. It also heightens alertness, making it impossible for a person to sleep easily.
Blue lights are found in light-emitting electronic devices (also called LE devices) such as iPads, eReaders, laptops, cell phones, LED monitors, and other electronic devices. The blue lights from these devices and gadgets can directly affect someone more when he or she uses it with the lights off, since the light becomes concentrated and unfiltered by other light sources.
A study shows that the more teenagers use gadgets before bedtime, the worse their sleeping patterns can become. These disturbances sleeping patterns vary from difficulty in going to sleep or waking up occasionally in the middle of the night.
An online survey of more than 11,000 Australians ages 11-17 said that teenagers who use computers, mobile phones, or televisions right before bedtime are believed to fall asleep and wake up later than those who don’t. According to the same survey, the former group of teenagers is also more likely to wake up later on weekends – the body’s way to catch up on missed sleep.
In addition, according to research, those who take their laptops to bed are 2.5 times more likely to have shorter sleep than those who don’t. This shorter sleep directly affects performance for the next day, and it also makes them feel tired even early in the morning.
Lastly, according to Dr. Nat Marshal, a member of Sydney’s Woolcock Institute and co-author of another study conducted regarding the use of electronic devices and sleep, it doesn’t necessarily mean that modern technology causes poor sleep. According to Dr. Marshal, there are instances of when people use these gadgets and devices to fill the time when they can’t sleep.
According to Professor Charles Czeisler, Harvard’s lead researcher regarding the effects of gadgets to sleep and the body, sleep deficiency (or “lack of sleep” in layman’s term) is directly related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic and weight diseases like obesity and diabetes, and cancer.
Because of this, a lot of doctors and researchers recommends minimizing the use of light-emitting gadgets and devices in the evening, especially before bedtime.
“Sleep is for the weak” – most teenagers claim this nowadays, but it’s better to have a proper sleep because without it, you will be weak and will develop unwanted diseases. That’s why you should hit the power button before you hit the sack.