We’ve likely all spent a bit more time than we would like to admit surfing the internet before bed. With information available to us seemingly everywhere we look, it’s harder than ever to stay away from technology for the recommended two hours before bed.
However, it’s worth noting that not all technology before bed is a bad thing. When used right, sleep and technology can actually work together to improve how rested and energized you are feeling the next morning. Below, we outline some of the biggest stressors of technology before bed and some of our favorite ways that you can use technology to minimize these stressors.
Negative effects of blue light on sleep
Blue light is used to backlight most computers and is meant to help keep us focused and alert. Before technology, we were only exposed to blue light rays from the sun, but now more than ever we are seeing blue light nearly constantly throughout the day.
Seeing as blue light has such a strong effect on melatonin levels, it’s clear that exposure to blue light can significantly affect your quality of sleep. Try minimizing your blue light exposure for two hours before bed by having a no-technology policy or using a blue-light filter.
Blue light filters are a great compromise that can minimize your blue light exposure before bed while still being able to use technology. Whether you use blue-light glasses or install a filter on your phone or laptop, blue light filters are a popular option to mitigate the negative effects of blue light on your sleeping patterns.
Overstimulation can cause stress
In the current health crisis, it’s normal to be stressed out. Many people’s usual routines have been upended, and with the 24-hour news cycle, it’s easier than ever to get caught up in reading constant updates about what’s going on. Additionally, with our phones seemingly always at our fingertips, we’re only ever a second away from checking notifications or social media, which makes it even harder to put our phones down for the recommended two hours before bed.
In a time where so many people are experiencing stress and anxiety over the current health crisis, taking a step away from technology for a while each day is a great way to give yourself time to destress and relax. Whether you go for a quick run or settle down with a good book, it’s important to spend some time screen-free each day to focus on your health and wellness.
However, it’s important to remember that not all technology negatively impacts our sleep. Using health trackers is a great way to use technology to your benefit. Health trackers, such as wrist wearables or health-tracking apps, give insights into how you sleep, so you can determine areas to focus on in the future. Health trackers are able to record your sleeping patterns and provide advice based on the data that is collected. It’s definitely worth taking a look at your own sleeping habits to determine areas where you can improve.
Having trouble falling asleep? Using blue light filters or having screen-free time before bed could be the way to go. Do you have trouble waking up and feeling energized? Using programmable glow lights to mimic the feeling of a sunrise might be your best move.
It’s important to remember that technology doesn’t have to negatively affect your sleep. When used right, it has many benefits that can help you get the most out of your eight hours. However, it’s crucial to use everything in moderation. For more information on how technology can affect your sleep, check out the infographic below.