Are Your Gadgets Affecting Your Sleep?

May 29, 2014

Did you know that if you get under seven hours of sleep per night you are considered sleep deprived? If not, you’re not alone. Over two-thirds of people fall into this category, making it a widely spread condition affecting adults worldwide. It turns out that our culture’s obsession with electronics could be partly to blame - your cellphone, laptop or tablet could be one of the culprits causing you to have those restless nights.

The social aspect of these devices are partly to blame, with many people constantly checking their social media account, email, electronic news, or any other ‘app’ you can think of. Many people don’t turn off their devices during the night which certainly can disturb your rest if they ring or vibrate, but more so to blame is the scientific side of these electronics.

The scientific aspect of this sleep disruption has to do with the screen of your device. Most electronics emit light waves that are near the blue end of the spectrum. This specific wavelength of light suppresses an important sleep hormone, melatonin, which has an important function in helping you to fall asleep. This means that if you are checking your phone before bed or when you wake during the night, this blue light is stimulating your brain and causing you to become more restless. Most doctors recommend that you set aside electronics about an hour before bed to ensure they are not negatively affecting your ability to fall asleep. You can watch the full video here.