With technology being deeply so engrained within our daily life it can often be difficult to be disciplined enough to tear yourself away from your smart phone or tablet before going to bed. Now although you may not think much of it, there are good reasons why you should refrain from using technology before bedtime as it can affect the quality of sleep you’re getting – no matter how comfortable your bed and mattress are. As such, here are 4 reasons why you should turn your phone off before bed.
Difficulty Falling Asleep
You might find that when you spend a fair amount of time on your phone before bed that your mind is still quite active and it takes you a while to actually nod off. Not only that, but once you start reading about something interesting, you’ll be naturally more curious and continue thinking about it whilst you’re trying to get to sleep. To combat this, rather than using electronic devices to unwind before going to sleep, why not try reading a book or watching Netflix instead as you’ll naturally become sleepier.
Disrupt Circadian Rhythm
The circadian rhythm is essentially your body’s internal clock, where most of your bodily functions are dictated by it such as your metabolism and mood. However, by using your phones at night when your body is effectively ready to rest or sleep, the blue light emitted from your device confuses your brain and disrupts your circadian rhythm. This is one of the major causes of those troublesome sleepless nights, where your brain just won’t shut off.
Suppress Melatonin Secretion
Melatonin is a hormone in the body that plays a vital role in the maintenance of your circadian rhythm and promotes a deep sleep that helps to rejuvenate your body. Consequently, when you use your phone at night the light emitted from your device suppresses the production of melatonin, which means when you fall asleep you may not drift off into a deep enough sleep. Because of this, if you’re adamant on using your phone before bed, try to use a ‘night’ setting on your device as this will decrease the amount of blue light emitted.
Decrease REM Sleep
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is the final stage of your natural sleep cycle that’s essential to ensure that you’re not waking up each morning feeling groggy and inattentive. REM sleep is also key in solidifying memories and promotes the retention of information, so without it you might find it harder to recall things if you’ve not been sleeping well.
If you’re experiencing problems when trying to go to sleep at night or generally feeling groggy in the morning, then consider how much you use your smart phone / device before bed time as this can be an unexpected contributor. Whilst you may not think that this may be the issue, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t use your phone before bed as it will make you feel more awake, suppress the deep sleep promoting hormone melatonin, and disrupt your circadian rhythm.