Why is it necessary to switch off electronics before sleep?

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Why is it necessary to switch off electronics before sleep?

Did you know that catching up on Facebook or scrolling through Tweets on your iPad can trick your brain to think it’s still a day, effectively ruining your night’s deep slumber?

Sleep is often perceived as an ultimate downtime where your brain and body gets a fair chance to shut down and tune in for the next day affairs. But, it is quite unfortunate to know that we all are now facing an epidemic of sleeplessness, where nearly six in 10 adults are believed to be sleep deprived as they get seven hours or less sleep every night. And one major cause for this upsetting epidemic is the “blue light” that stops us feeling sleepy by suppressing the production of sleep-inducing hormones.

Regrettably, the pervasive glow of electronic devices including computer screens, smart phones, flat screen TVs and tablets are impediments to a good night’s sleep. Dependence to these can also make you prone to sleep disorders like Obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia.

Read on to know why we should banish electronics from bedroom or switch them off before sleep.

Blue Light Suppresses Melatonin- a potential Sleep Inducing Hormone

Electronic Devices emits artificial blue light that signals our brain to stay awake and become familiar to thinking it’s still a day. Our circadian rhythm will become disjoined and as a result, our brain produces less of the hormone melatonin, which is typically produced in the absence of lights and helps regulate sleep.

Decreasing device’s brightness will also help keep your melatonin secretion at reasonable levels; but it is still recommended to switch off these devices, at least one hour before bed time.

Stress and Excitement can keep your Mind Awake

Electronic devices like smart phones, laptops and televisions keeps our mind engaged and distracts it from sleeping. Waking up in the middle of the night for checking emails or social media accounts can also bring stress in us, making it even more difficult to sleep.

Studies conclude that the increased usage and disturbances from electronics can result in sleep disorders and insomnia in particular.

Missed sleep can lead to Weight Gain

People with inconsistent sleep schedules are more likely to have higher body mass index ratings than consistent peers.  It is believed that sleep deprivation can act on body’s physical metabolism and extra hours of sleeplessness would mean extra hours to eat, both of which can contribute to weight gain. Also, in children who are obese and yet sleep less than normal weight kids, is the result of unchecked screen time and TVs in the bedroom.

Believe or not, but extra pounds on your body will also raise the chance of getting sleep apnea and the condition further makes it hard for you to slim down.

Delayed sleep affects Health and Productivity

The greater use of electronics has been linked to greater delays in sleep-wake schedules. People who had their electronics switch on at night reports poor sleep while those who left their electronics off reports excellent sleep. Be it, children, teens or adults, getting insufficient sleep are associated with impaired memory, impaired learning and decision making and daytime fatigue and a wide range of health problems over time.

What you can do to increase your chance of a Good Night sleep?

  • Avoid charging your devices on your bedside table. You can create a charging station in another room to power your phones, tablets etc overnight.
  • Don’t use your phone to set an alarm clock, instead, buy a real alarm clock that cannot disrupt your sleep in the middle of the night.
  • Turn off all your screens including smart phones, computers and televisions an hour before going to bed. Read from a printed book instead of a tablet.
  • Adapt to good sleeping habits and make your kids get used to same as early as possible. Now, 75 percent of children have at least one electronic device in their bedrooms, so just make sure you create their bedtime routine that does not involve electronics.

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