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This clinical psychologist wants to remove electronics from your bedtime routine

How many electronic gadgets do you use during the hour before you go to bed? If you're like 95 percent of Americans, you use at least one - according to a National Sleep Foundation poll.

Michael J. Breus, a clinical psychologist and American Academy of Sleep Medicine fellow, wrote an editorial for CNN stating that people who use gadgets just before bed are most likely to experience what he calls junk sleep.

"Technology can interfere with a good night's sleep in several ways. The biggest problem is these devices are often left on at night and emit light and noise that can disrupt sleep cycles and alter sleep-related hormone levels. The light from electronic screens can trick your body into thinking it's daytime and stop it from producing melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate sleep."

Breus advises a one-hour electronics curfew before bed, and I agree to a point. Aimlessly browsing the Internet can be hazardous to your sleep, but reading a novel on your tablet doesn’t always have to be.

Bonus: If you need to be on the computer at night, be sure you have F.lux installed to avoid throwing off your sleep cycle.

He also suggests in the article that we forget about sleep trackers and leave our phones in the living room. I reviewed an iOS app called Sleep Cycle Alarm which tracks sleep information and wake-up times, and I think this is another spot where we disagree.

The app automatically silences your phone, rejects call and texts, and completely blackens the screen. That way it won't distract you while you're getting your beauty rest.

So, what electronics do you use just before bed - or even in bed? Did following the advice above help you sleep better? Let me know in the comments.

 

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