LIGHT EMITTING DEVICES AND SLEEP

We find ourselves in a world now where we are surrounded by technology, and its convenience definitely makes usage appealing.

With social media, movie streaming, and electronic e-readers generally filling in the last hour or two before we sleep, we should probably address the effects that it may be having on the quality of our sleep.

Or bodies over time have naturally decided that night time is the best time to sleep. Darkness almost prompts our brain to release melatonin (the hormone responsible for regulating our sleep-wake cycle) and results in healthy, regimented circadian rhythm.

When our body is exposed to light, our melatonin levels are suppressed, our levels of alertness are increased, and our circadian clock is shifted to a later time, making it more difficult to get to sleep.

A study was conducted exploring the differences between regular books vs. e-books. 

The findings suggested that those using ebooks took at least 10 minutes longer to fall asleep, and obtained significantly less Rapid Eye Movement (REM sleep), which is an integral phase in our sleep for recovery.

Levels of reported sleepiness were also much higher within the group using electronic devices before bed.

Using light emitting technology in the hours before bed has been shown to have accidental biological consequences, that will result in decreased performance, recovery and our health.

(Recent findings of chronic suppression of melatonin relating with increased risk of breast, colorectal and prostate cancer is enough to raise concern).

The associated risks of delayed melatonin and circadian timing in developing delayed sleep disorders and insomnia are absolutely things we want to avoid as people who want to thrive and perform at our best.

So perhaps pick up a book, or begin setting some strict time limits for technology prior to bed.

 

 

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