Cell phones, tablets, computers, flat screen tv’s…...everywhere we look, we are connected to technology and screens. So what, this is how we live in 2020 is probably a common response. While we are connected to screens, it is important to understand the impacts they could behaving on your own and your children's sleep quality.
Screens emit various types of light.Interestingly different wavelengths of light in the color spectrum can adversely impact the ability to fall asleep. Blue light for example which is emitted from digital screens has the most negative impact. When looking at your phone, watching tv, or playing a video game, the lens of the eye does not have the ability to block these rays out. Exposure to light reduces melatonin that the body naturally produces which is critical to maintaining circadian rhythm (which means keeping your sleep aligned with the 24 hour day/night cycle). Melatonin helps you fall asleep and maintain a healthy sleeping pattern,
What can you do? Well, all is not lost as there are ways that you can help with this. The best solution is to avoid all screen time at least 2 hours before going to bed. If you have children in school, this is a big one so they wake up well-rested. Since we are so connected to technology, shutting off screens at night can be very difficult and might not be possible based on your current situation. If this is your situation, invest in a pair of blue light glasses that help block these rays. These glasses can be found for less than $20 on Amazon and are an alternative option that will help reduce the negative impacts of screen time.
Lastly, with technology so prevalent, make sure you don’t sleep with your cell phone next to your bed. Aside from light, the noises from alerts,emails, etc., will negatively impact your sleep. Try these solutions out for a week and monitor any impact to your sleeping patterns. We would love to hear your success stories and how this helps. Share your story with us on Facebook at @SleepMedRx.