Before going to bed, we tend to have our last minute social media checkups, send a couple of texts to our friends or loved ones, and see what happened during the day, in case we missed anything.
But by doing the mentioned things, as you are about to go to sleep, you’re actually harming your body as well as your sleep schedule. How exactly does your smartphone end up being a disruptive force?
The bright blue light emitted from your smartphone is very similar to the light that the sun radiates, which literally tricks the brain into thinking that it is still daytime. That is why often when you are even very tired, a single glance at your device can “wake you up”. Science explains that it’s because exposure to this blue light from your smartphone’s screen stops the brain from releasing melatonin, a hormone used to induce sleep, thus preventing you from falling asleep.
Science has explored this occurrence in more depth and it has led to the discovery of a new photoreceptor called Melanopsin. This photoreceptor was discovered in the retinal ganglion cells, which are responsible for your eye’s sensitivity to blue light. Moreover, experimental research has shown that an average person who is using some kind of electronic devices (that emit bright blue light) before they fall asleep could actually have a very difficult time falling and/or staying asleep.
Research has also confirmed that the group that suffers the most from this socio – technological phenomena are teenagers. Adolescents are much more vulnerable to the effects of light than adults. Circadian rhythm can naturally shift in at this age, allowing them to feel much more awake later on into the night. So watching TV shows, playing video games, or just doing regular “checkups” before bedtime can prove early mornings to be one of the most difficult things to endure as a teenager.
Check out the infographic below:
All of this leads to only one recommendation, and that is to limit your time in front of all your devices, or at least before you go to bed. Scientists recommend that you stop using devices with a blue lit screen at least two hours before you go to bed. By doing so, you will let your brain release melatonin at a proper time. If you decide to adapt to this way of living, you will notice that things will be very different and you will have some of the best rest ever.