Technology and Sleep
Technology is in our cars, in our homes, and at work. We are a society who carries technology here and there and everywhere, even to bed. We are finding that we eat, live, sleep with our devices. We know we should be asleep. But who is it hurting when you take one more look at your phone to check social media, or to answer that last email, or to play one last game of candy crush. Well you could be hurting your health. Technology jet lag should not to be confused with travel jet lag, which has similar symptoms. Technology jet lag is when the light from our devices stimulate our brains into staying alert and active, as a result restless sleep or lack of sleep. Studies have shown that if our sleep suffers, our health suffers, resulting in a higher rate of heart disease, a higher chance of diabetes, a contributor to cancer and to obesity.
- Do you fall asleep, but still wake up feeling like you did not sleep a wink?
- Did you play on your phone until you fell asleep?
- Do you lay in bed, when you should have been asleep, making a list of all the things you must get done in the morning? But wake too tired to do the tasks on the list?
Technology jet lag can result in delaying the sleep process, your mind stayed active, so as a result you might have missed the deep REM sleep, that your mind and body need to stay healthy. We might think that our body is sound asleep, but our mind feels like it is still active and not sleeping, which can result in our circadian rhythm being out of whack. What is circadian rhythm? Circadian rhythm is the wake and sleep patterns that we follow on a daily basis. Think of it as the sun and moon rising and setting. Most of us count on the daytime hours to work and get things done and the dark, nighttime hours to sleep.
During sleep our brain releases a natural sleep hormone known as melatonin. Light working with our biological circadian rhythm can suppress the release of melatonin, so that we are awake and ready to start our day, or keep us awake at night when we should be asleep. Your body needs about 60 minutes to start preparing for sleep and about 90 minutes to prepare itself for waking up. The blue light from our mobile phones, computers and television, and from our over-head lights, can suppress our sleep preparation and delay the release of melatonin.
Technology and Sleep Quality - Tips for Sleeping Better
But there are steps that we can take now to start getting a healthier sleep and reset your circadian rhythm:
- Schedule your sleep and wake up times, go to bed and wake up within an hour of the same time each day.
- Control caffeine intake: Stop caffeine consumption in the late afternoon, but definitely by dinner time. The cut off timing is different for each person based upon how they metabolize caffeine.
- Limit eating and drinking to 12 hours or less per day, (other than water). Our bodies were not intended to process food. Our digestive system needs to rest, our bodies were not intended to eat every hour of the 24-hour clock.
- Schedule when you eat. Finish eating at least 3 - 4 hours before bedtime (other than water). Eating and sleeping at the same time each day will revolutionize your sleep and change your life.
- Get sunlight. Try to get 1 - 2 hours of natural sunlight each day. Our body interprets sunlight differently than most indoor lighting, and has a stabilizing effect on our circadian rhythm.
- Improve your sleep environment, improve your sleep. Remove disruptions from your room, yes that means your computer, your phone and your television. Start turning off the distractions in your bedroom 60 minutes before you go to bed. Do not look at your phone or answer emails “one last time” right before you close your eyes. Guard your sleep, guard your environment.
We feel confident that if you start now to make sleep an important part of your daily routine you can avoid the worse of technology jet lag and get your circadian rhythm back in sync. RestoreZ products were designed specifically for you and your individual sleep needs. Try it for 30 days if you do not experience more profound sleep at night and a better mental and physical energy during the day contact us and we will help to choose the product that suits your needs or refund your money.