Modern technology makes life easier, but it can also interfere with your sleep. This is especially true if you’re sensitive to light. Find out how your smartphone may be keeping you up at night and what you can do about it.
Artificial light throws off your inner clock and the activities of your neurons and hormones that would naturally guide you through a 24-hour day. Internet devices with LED lights keep your brain on alert and reduce the number of hours that you sleep.
In addition to reduced concentration, sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain, diabetes, and other health issues.
You can keep your phone and get the rest you need by managing your exposure to artificial and natural light.
Coping with Light from Electronic Devices
- Observe a curfew. Turn off all electronic devices, including the TV, about an hour or two before bedtime. This will give your brain time to recover from the lingering effects of staring at lighted screens.
- Announce your schedule. You may feel like people expect you to be available at all hours of the day. Let your boss and friends know that you stop checking emails or answering calls and texts by a certain hour.
- Ban devices from your bedroom. If possible, keep electronics out of your bedroom. Make the room a sanctuary used only for quiet activities and sleep.
- Cover the power buttons. If you decide to let some devices stay, look them over. Apply stickers to cover power buttons that glow in the dark. Dim the lights on your alarm clock.
- Read books on paper. Save your e-reader for lunchtime. Nighttime reading with conventional books will be less stimulating.
Adjust your spectrum. As it turns out, LED lights emit a short wave of blue light that’s particularly disruptive to our sleep rhythms. Shop around for free applications that will adjust the color to warmer or cooler shades depending on the time of day.