You may be sabotaging your sleep without knowing it! Think about your current sleep routine. I’d be willing to bet you’re like most people and that your nighttime routine involves at least one digital device.
While scrolling through your social media or watching your favorite show may seem harmless enough, numerous studies have found the blue light emitted from these devices can keep us from getting a good night’s rest.
We all operate off an internal clock known as circadian (Sur-KAY-dee-un) rhythms. Researchers have known for a long time that light disrupts our internal clock and thus natural sleep cycles. Blue light from electronics is particularly worrisome. The blue light emissions from electronic devices affected how much melatonin is released. This is a critical sleep-regulating hormone. Studies reveal people using screens that emit blue light don’t make as much melatonin.
Recommendations suggest avoiding blue light exposure for at least 2 hours before sleep. This may be difficult if your nighttime routine solely involves electronic devices. The good news is that many manufacturers are heeding scientific findings and offer alternatives to the blue light.
Apple Users Apple’s “night shift” mode (for iOS versions 9.3 and higher) can be accessed from the settings menu under “display and brightness,” and it’s simple to set a schedule for automatic engagement during the hours you use your device before bedtime.
Android Users Activating this feature can be accomplished by downloading the “Night Mode Enabler” third- party app from the Google Play store.
Research your other device makers to find out if they offer any light alternatives. The best option is to avoid your electronic devices before bed, but for those of you dependent on your nightly social media fix, the next best option is to reduce blue light exposure.
Improving your sleep health will also improve your overall wellness! If you are curious about the quality of your sleep, we are currently offering Home Sleep Tests that we can have read by a Board Certified Sleep Physician. Ask us about sleep health and how we can help at your next visit.