For many of us, screens have become an important part of our everyday lives – but mounting evidence suggests that utilising them to close to bedtime could be wreaking havoc on our sleep patterns.
According to sleep experts, watching television, looking at our phones or using a computer before bed can affect our sleep in the following ways.
Disrupts sleep cycle
One of the most important things to be aware of when looking at screens before bed is their ability to disrupt the bodies sleep cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. Essentially, the blue light emitted from screens can restrict the bodies ability to produce melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm, thereby making it harder to fall into a deep, restful sleep.
Rather than preparing you to drift off to sleep, using screens before bed typically encourages alertness and trick your brain into thinking you need to stay awake. While it may seem harmless, an exciting movie or an interesting article can stimulate your brain more than you might realise, and ultimately cause you to stay awake longer than you need to.
Unexpected wake up calls
In fact, mobile phones in particular have become such a key component in our everyday routines that many people rely on them as their morning alarm, meaning they tend to keep them on the nightstand or beside the bed. However, forgetting to switch your phone to silent can be seriously problematic to your sleep, as unexpected calls, messages and notifications can wake you during the night.
While there’s no need to give up screens altogether, we’re sure that we could all benefit from cutting down our screen time – and making a conscious effort to put away the gadgets at least 30 minutes before going to bed. For further support on living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, contact us on (03) 9576 8538 or book a consultation online.