Screens before Bed: How they’re Harming your Sleep Cycle
Since we as a culture have begun keeping our electronic devices glued to our palms at all times, researchers have been wondering about the health effects. One of the main things that scientists have warned about is that looking at screens before bed – whether it’s browsing the news on your laptop, scrolling through Facebook on your smartphone, or even reading a book on a backlit e-reader. It’s been proven that these behaviors can harm our sleep cycles.
A brand new study released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science explored this claim in depth, and their findings showed that using electronic devices before a snooze is even more harmful than we originally thought.
In the study, participants were encouraged to read prior to sleeping, whether it was on a backlit device such as a Kindle Fire or standard paper. Those using light-emitting devices where shown to be far drowsier and less alert the next day.
Are you having trouble staying alert in your day-to-day life? Do you find that your short-term memory has been inhibited or that your reaction times aren’t what they used to be? If you’re becoming increasingly less sharp, don’t just chalk it up to long work days or aging – consider your electronics as the culprits.
Here are a few benefits to turning off all bright screens an hour before bed:
- A calmer mind before falling asleep. Reading texts, e-mails, or news stories before bed keeps your mind activated and prevents you from focusing on yourself. You’ll fall asleep more easily if you think about tomorrow’s tasks, reflect on the day, or simply daydream.
- More time with family. When you’re not scrolling through your phone, you can be reading to your kids, having a nightly chat with your spouse, or simply enjoying your own thoughts in silence.
- Mindfulness. Oftentimes, we forget how to enjoy something – we’re too busy idly checking our phones. You’ll be happier if you take pleasure in your nightly routines, such as reflecting on the day, partaking in a face mask, or cuddling up with your pets.
- More scheduled sleep. Many people reading emails or the news before bed lose track of time. If you put the laptop away and decide you’ll sleep from midnight to 7 A.M., you’re less likely to accidentally cut into that time, and you’ll feel more rested.
- A more refreshing morning. The less quality sleep you get, the fuzzier your mind will be the next day. Remember what it’s like to feel energized upon waking up by taking back your sleep hours.