One of the fastest growing problems nowadays affecting people of all ages is the use of electronics in the bedroom. Precisely speaking, a whopping number of 75% of children and 70% of adults use electronic gadgets in their bed or bedroom.
Why is this a problem? you might ask. Namely, using technology at night interferes with both the quantity and quality of sleep. For that reason, sleep experts advise keeping technology away from the bedroom and claim that a technology-free bedroom provides remarkable benefits.
So, if you want to improve your sleep by setting up a technology-free bedroom, continue reading to learn how electronics affect your sleep and how to create a technology-free bedroom.
How Do Electronic Devices Affect Sleep?
In general, the circadian rhythm of a healthy adult follows a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. It primarily responds to light and darkness. In the morning, as the sun rises, the circadian rhythm makes the body produce cortisol, a hormone that stimulates alertness and wakefulness. On the other hand, at night, as daylight fades, the body produces melatonin, a hormone that stimulates sleepiness.
But, how do electronic devices affect sleep? Indeed, all gadgets like mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, computers, TVs, etc. emit blue light which imitates daylight and thus impedes the release of the sleep hormone, melatonin. What’s more, blue light also decreases the time spent in rapid-eye movement (REM) and slow-wave sleep, two sleep stages crucial for optimal cognitive function.
So, it’s better that you simply stay away from electronics hours before sleep. If you do manage to keep a technology-free bedroom, here’s a brief list of benefits you may enjoy:
- Shorter sleep latency
- Increased sleep duration
- Uninterrupted quality sleep
- Normal circadian rhythm
How to Create a Technology-Free Bedroom?
Given the fact that technology is fairly integrated into modern society, keeping a technology-free bedroom may seem challenging and daunting. Luckily, the following simple tips can help you make this process straightforward and help you adjust to your new sleep-inducing environment, especially if you cannot simply remove all electronic devices from your bedroom.
- Set a dedicated place for electronics – try to keep all your gadgets outside your bedroom. Hence, put all of the chargers in one place and then leave your devices there before going to bed so you would also have a full battery in the morning.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine – instead of using technology, try implementing some relaxing activities to reinforce healthy habits. For example, try taking a bath, doing some stretching exercises, practicing yoga, reading in dim light, etc.
- Set a strict ‘screens off’ period – having a consistent deadline for when you should shut off devices and preferably turn the lights off to go to sleep is pretty beneficial and helps you not fall into the temptation to scroll a bit more, watch one more episode, etc.
- Use nighttime mode on devices – if you still cannot leave your devices outside the bedroom, ensure you use a ‘nighttime mode’ to emit less blue light. Also, don’t forget to reduce the display’s brightness manually.
- Consider using a white noise machine – this is especially helpful for those used to using their phone to play soothing music at night that helps them fall asleep. A white noise machine will do the same without tempting you to go on the Internet.
All things considered, electronics do impede sleep due to their blue-light emission. Fortunately, you can improve your sleep by applying the above-listed tips and get the sleep and rest you need.