It is without a doubt that technology has helped to improve our daily lives. From the ease of accessing information to the ability to stay connected with your loved ones wherever you are, technology has made the world more interconnected. Together with the internet, the explosion of handheld devices, computers, laptops and tablets has allowed us to make more well-informed decisions, simplifying our work and home business.
In fact, the majority of smartphone users have a habit of using their mobile before heading to bed. Most of the time, they will end up mindlessly scrolling through social media, watching entertainment videos or even chatting on social messaging apps. In some ways, it has become a norm in our daily lives. Whether it is at work, at home or for leisure purposes, technology has surrounded us all day. Therefore, it makes sense that we would bring it with us to bed too. But, is using our mobile devices just before bedtime helping us or proving detrimental for our sleep quality? Continue reading on to find out the impact technology has on your sleep quality and dark circles around your eyes.
The Impact Of Technology On Our Sleep Quality
For most of us, the benefits of modern technology are astronomical. Technology can be a source of income, entertainment for others and automation for businesses. When you are taking public transport or walking along the streets, you can see people using their mobile devices as they walk or stand. Unbeknown to many, the use of technology just before bedtime may be ruining our good night’s sleep.
Today, we usually head to bed with our mobile phone, tablet, laptop or television to keep us company. However, the consequence of that can be a long night of wakefulness, which is contributed by the light emitted from our devices and stimulating mental activity required during playing games, reading, watching shows, or even taking care of last-minute work emails or tasks before heading to bed.
Besides the stimulating mental activity, there is also a risk that we may end up being too caught up with what we are doing and continue past our regular sleeping time. All these things combine will eventually leave us with less sleep than we are usually accustomed to and far less than we need.
Regardless of whether we like it or not, technology and our bodies are not entirely compatible, at least when it comes to sleep. In this case, we will have to learn to develop healthy habits around technology and sleep in order to reap the benefits that both have to offer.
Different Ways Technology Affects Our Sleep Quality
With that said, there are several important ways technology can have an effect on our sleep quality. Nonetheless, not everyone will suffer from all of these problems but it is likely that you will notice at least one or two of the below-mentioned problems that you are currently facing.
1. Blue Light
Emitted by most electronic devices, blue light is a type of light that is produced by mobile devices, tablets, laptops, computer screens, televisions and even e-readers. Unfortunately, this steady stream of blue light that you put your eyes through can prevent the human body from producing sufficient melatonin. Since melatonin aids in making us fall asleep faster and better, the blue light produced by our electronic devices are pushing our bedtime further back than it should. As a matter of fact, the magnitude of the blue light’s effect on your eyes depends on the exact wavelength that your screens emit, the duration and frequency of how you look at them. Glancing at your mobile phone once or twice to check your phone will have less effect than typing or watching a show on your phone. Similarly, staring at a mostly-white screen or reading a book is healthier for your eyes compared to an e-reader.
2. Unexpected Sounds
Even if you minimize the effects that blue light has on your eyes, your phone can disrupt or even wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. If you have your notifications on, this may cause you to wake up whenever your phone goes off overnight. In fact, it is a well-known fact that noise disrupts your sleep, and these kinds of disruption can lead to a higher chance of developing health issues such as stroke or cardiovascular disease. With that said, noise from your electronic device is no different. It is more likely that we will be aroused and be awaken to sounds connected to our mobile devices compared to other noises. In the present world we live in, our five senses, in particular, our ears tend to become more responsive to sounds made from our devices. It has become a habit for us to jump and check our phones whenever we hear noises or sounds from our electronic device. Therefore, we are likely to be more disturbed when we hear sounds or noises from our electronic device at night.
3. Wi-Fi Signals
Crazy as it may seem, but the wifi signals emitted by our electronic devices can interfere with our sleep schedule. Based on a 2007 study, subjects were handed out with both real and fake mobile devices to interact with before bedtime, and results showed that the group of individuals with real phones faced more trouble sleeping compared to their peers with fake phones. Therefore, researchers have concluded that the different strengths and frequencies of the signal have a different effect on sleep schedules. Over a period of time, there is also proof that having all kinds of electromagnetic frequencies in the room can cause chronic sleep disorders when you are trying to sleep. For most of the people, it is harder to fall asleep and becomes more difficult to do so at a reasonable hour. For others, it may be difficult to stay asleep long enough to get sufficient rest.