How Use of Technology Affects Sleep

Previously, bedrooms used to be quite sanctuaries meant for rest and comfort. All you could find in a bedroom was a bed, a good quality mattress purchased from reputable companies like, clothes and some other personal belongings. These days, technology is seeping into bedrooms through things like phones, laptops and televisions which affect sleeping patterns.

Technology use entails things like using a bright screen light. Studies about using bright tablets such as ipads and laptops for up to five hours before going to bed have been carried out. The finding is the evening increase in melatonin does not get affected by a bright screen used for one hour. Melatonin is the hormone that makes human beings ready for sleep. It is produced by the pineal gland during the night when there is darkness. It works as a timing messenger that signals nighttime information to the body. Light lowers the production of this hormone hence interrupting sleep.

After 1.5 hours of using technology before going to bed, the studies found that such people feel less sleepy. These people also perform well on mental performance tests and their brainwaves alert increases. And repeated use of bright screens for more than five days delays the body clock by 1.5 hours. This implies that you will consistently want to go to sleep later and sleep in for longer. This can bring a very huge problem when you want to wake up at a specified time in the morning to go to work or go to school.

Also, technology devices are either passive or interactive. The passive ones are those that require little or zero input from the user. Examples of such devices include watching television, reading an e-book and listening to music. For the interactive devices, what you view on the screen changes with the type of input. A good example is playing a video game. Surfing the web, posting using smart phones, tablets, laptops or computers and messaging are also interactive. The interactive technological activities are more harmful to sleep compared to the passive ones.

Technology however does not affect everyone the same way. There are people who get affected more than others. The young people especially those who never play computer games so much are very sensitive to violent video games and this affects their sleep greatly. The more experienced gamers can develop a habit of using technology before they go to sleep and the violent video games do not affect them that much. Also, research as shown that the teenagers who are less risk takers are most likely to end gaming early and go to sleep earlier than those who are higher risk takers. And those teenagers who strongly engage in computer games play for long and they go to bed late. Researchers are yet to find out the various individual characteristics that explain why use of technology before going to bed affects some people more than others.

The desire to remain connected also keeps people awake. With technology, there is always someone to talk to even in the middle of the night. The desire to stay connected is there all the time and this prevents one from getting sleep. Experts recommend that technology devices used in communication should be switched off at least one hour before going to bed.

Also, you may go to bed early but get forced to wake up by a technological device. If you go to sleep and leave your mobile phone on, calls, texts, emails or calendar reminders will destruct your sleep. With this, you end up getting less sleep.