A Better Night’s Sleep
Smart phones, laptops, and other similar devices all transmit light, including blue light. Blue light wavelengths can be beneficial during the day as they increase attention and reaction times. But at night, blue light can be extremely disruptive to your sleep!
How screen time before bed can negatively impact your sleep:
- Delays your circadian clock rhythms
- What is a circadian rhythm? It is the natural cycle of physical, mental, and behavior changes that the body goes through in a 24-hour sleep – wake cycle, which is strongly impacted by exposure to light and darkness.
- Suppresses your melatonin secretion
- What is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness – helping you to feel calm and sleepy. Light exposure (especially blue light exposure) can reduce melatonin production.
- Decreases your REM sleep time
- What is REM? REM which stands for ‘rapid eye movements’ is a kind of sleep that occurs at intervals during the night and is characterized by intense brain activity. This type of sleep is important as it restores your brain and is good for your memory and learning.
- Make you more alert instead of relaxed
Reducing the impact of blue light:
- Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed.
- Be intentional about the notifications that you check – avoid apps that may cause stress!
- Shift your phone to night mode or download a hue adjusting app (choose orange or red).
- Avoid mindless social media scrolling.
- Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.
Alternatives to screen time before bed:
- Try out a meditation app
- Listen to stories on your phone
- Read a book
- Listen to music
- Gentle stretching or yoga
- Write a gratitude list
- Take a relaxing bath or shower
TAO Connect – Sleep Problems Playlist: https://ca.taoconnect.org/browse/content/23
Headspace – Sleep Hygiene Tips: https://www.headspace.com/sleep/sleep-hygiene
Sleep & The Anxious Mind: https://wellness.mcmaster.ca/program/sleep-the-anxious-mind/
References:Mindfulness & Relaxation, Physical Health