Work, family, busy schedules, and daily life, in general, can make it almost impossible for adults to relax and fall asleep at night. When high levels of stress and tension are factored in not only will sleep patterns suffer, but judgment general healthy as well. Adding to this problem is a complete dependency on a smartphone. This technological wonder that keeps you connected with your life, and the rest of the world can also be causing sleep deprivation.
Smartphones and sleep deprivation
It is not uncommon for adults to fall asleep at night with the TV on, and in an article published in Natural News it was found that this habit can actually help you relax and fall asleep. These findings have much sleep deprived adults wondering why television can help soothe tension while the important smartphone is contributing to their sleeplessness. The American Chemical Society has pointed to the body’s natural circadian rhythms and how the blue light emitted from a smartphone can cause a disruption.
Related Read: Signs of Sleep Deprivation You Don’t Know About
While television sets and smartphones both emit a blue light, there is a difference in the distance, and the amount of interaction required. Most bedroom TVs are placed away from the bed, and the blue light won’t interfere with the body’s natural chemistry. Smartphones not only emit the same bright light, but since the device is closer to your face it can cause a disruption in the body’s natural sleep patterns. When this is added to the fact that a smartphone also requires constant interaction, it can be difficult to relax enough to fall asleep at night.
How a smartphone affects sleep patterns
In a recent report released by the National Sleep Foundation, it was estimated that as many as two-thirds of adults in the United States stated that they experienced some problem with their stages of sleep patterns at night. Some of these included,
* Feeling tired or sluggish in the morning.
* Waking up before they were ready.
* Difficulties falling asleep at night.
* Frequently waking up during the night.
What the study also found was the 95 percent of the participants regularly used their smartphones in bed before trying to fall asleep. Researchers have found that the importance of the circadian rhythms cannot be ignored, and smartphones are disrupting these natural patterns. The red light that is prevalent at night helps to trigger the body’s response to begin getting ready to fall asleep. Even though televisions emit the blue light that is associated with daytime, the distance most TV sets are from the bed does make a difference. Smartphones can emit between 400 and 480 nanometers of this blue light which signals the body to slow the production of sleep-inducing melatonin. When the body is not producing this hormone, it can be difficult to fall asleep at night.
Smartphones, sleep deprivation, and health risks
The National Institutes of Health has been studying the effects of sleep deprivation your health, and the results are startling. While the benefits of getting enough sleep at night include a reduction of stress and tension levels, researchers also found that there are several problems that can occur when you aren’t well rested at night. Some of these general health problems can include,
* Irritability and mood swings.
* It can affect your mental fitness.
* Lower the body’s ability to fit disease and infections.
* Cause poor memory and even affect judgment.
* Trouble concentrating on simple tasks.
* Increased risk of heart complications.
* Raise your risk of being involved in an accident.
* Can result in diabetes.
These health problems are becoming more common as the use of smartphones increases, and health care professionals have found that it takes only one night of poor sleep to lose all of the benefits of a well-balanced lifestyle.
How to improve sleep patterns and use a smartphone
The National Sleep Foundation has help for lovers of their smartphones who still want to be able to sleep at night. Most health care professionals recommend getting between 6 and 8 hours of sleep at night to ensure that you get all of the benefits, and there are a few tips that can help you relax.
* Try to ensure your sleeping area is quiet and dark.
* Avoid drinking any alcoholic or caffeinated beverages at least one hour before going to bed.
* Relaxing with soothing music or a warm bath can help increase melatonin production.
The most important tip to getting a healthy night’s sleep is to simply not take your smartphone to bed. Putting the device down before going to bed will not only help increase sleeping promoting melatonin levels, but it will also aid in relaxing tense muscles and nerves.
Healthcare professionals, children, and even plants all know how important it is to be able to relax at night, and the bright blue light emitted from your smartphone is causing your sleep deprivation. Simply putting the important device down before bed can improve your sleep patterns and your health.
1) Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, Robert Segal, M.A. (September 2011). Sleep Disorders and Sleeping Problems
Stevan McGrath loves to explore the world through traveling and thrilling getaways that adventure lovers may dream of exploring. His writing domain revolves around topics like Health and Fitness, latest technologies, product reviews, etc. He is a contributing writer for Si-jointpain.com, academia.edu and other websites since 2011. His articles are well-researched and published on several websites. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for daily inspiration.