Minimize the harm of looking at your phone at night
Undoubtedly, many of us have heard and continue to hear many times: “We need to stay away from screens to get a good night’s sleep.” Yes, but how? While technology has so infiltrated our every moment; our notifications don’t stop, our emails don’t stop, how we’re about to part with our phones when breaking news keeps popping up on the screen… Especially as soon as we go to bed. scroll until you fall asleep while continuing…
According to research and sleep experts, all the screen swiping late into the night delays falling asleep by keeping our brains awake and alert. hinders quality rest. The light emitted by electronic devices disrupts the biological clock and interferes with our sleep. That’s why the advice we see everywhere is very clear: “Turn off electronics and stay away from blue light hours before bed.” Unfortunately, although the advice is very clear, it is not easy to implement. So, is there a way to enjoy screens without disturbing your sleep patterns and risking quality rest? Good news: yes! Behavioral sleep medicine expert and author of Hello Sleep, Dr. According to Jade Wu, with a few changes to our daily routine. We can reduce the negative impact of the screens we are exposed to at night on our sleep. Here are the adjustments that need to be made:
Get as much light as possible during the day
Dr. Wu’s first recommendation is to get enough sunlight throughout the day. This is due to the sleep-wake cycle, or how our body’s internal clock works. The link between circadian rhythm and sleep Do you remember. a hormone that regulates sleep melatoninrises in our body in the evening, remains high at night, slows down in the morning and during the day. “Melatonin is the timing hormone that tells your body when to sleep and naturally responds to the amount of light in the environment.” said dr. Wu says that when there is little light, our brain recognizes that it is night and releases melatonin, which makes us sleepy. And adds: “If there is too much light around -whether it’s real daylight or artificial light from a screen or lamp- Your brain thinks it’s daytime and suppresses melatonin production, keeping you awake.” For example, if you’ve been away all day, come home and crawl under the covers, turn off the lights and read a book on your tablet, the amount of light you’re exposed to will vary greatly. In this scenario, using the night screen will not affect your sleep as much as if you were working indoors with the curtains closed all day. Dr. According to Wu, our brain essentially keeps track of how much light it’s exposed to throughout the day. “If five hours ago there was a lot of light, and now there is little but much less light coming from your screen, the brain will know that it should be evening now, although there is still light. speaks. You can get outdoors as much as possible, take outdoor breaks, and if you work from home, you can move your desk to the windowsill.
Turn on the lights in the evening
Dr. Jade Wu says that increasing the amount of light you’re exposed to in the early evening, during lunch, can also mitigate the negative effects of nighttime screen use. “So, in the early evening, you briefly bring some light into yourself so that your body is ready to create contrast later in the evening when there is less light.” explains how. And he claims that this recommendation can be even more effective, especially if we don’t have a lot of light during the day. Of course, taking a stroll in the evening and watching the sunset are ideal tips, but if that’s not the case, lighting up the kitchen well while preparing dinner and turning on the light on the dining table during dinner can’t hurt either! Dr. woo “Turning on bright lights in the evening can give your body a chance to recover from a stronger exposure in a few hours when you lie in bed with the lights off. Earlier exposure to light will actually reduce the effect of bright light at 10 or 11 p.m..” he clears things up.
Use Screens Consciously
Even if you follow the above two steps when you go to bed, for example, if you watch a detective series that increases your heart rate, the quality of your sleep may be affected. That’s why what we see on our screens is also very important. Dr. woo, “The content of what you do on your screens is just as important as the exposure to the light.” speaks and offers us a more conscious approach. Dr. Wu says that people often think that they should choose boring things to fall asleep. he adds. Therefore, choose content that is not boring, relaxing, helping to relax as much as possible and stay on the same screen. -those. do not watch videos, chat and read doomscrolling at the same time- very important.
Try wearing blue light blocking glasses
According to experts and research, when it comes to our biological clock, the circadian rhythm, blue light is the biggest enemy. The blue light emitted from our phones, tablets and computers inhibits the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone, impairing the quality of sleep. For this reason, it is important to neutralize the effects of blue light we are exposed to. Dr. woo, “Not all light frequencies are the same when it comes to stimulating the brain and especially circadian rhythms.” He says and recommends the use of blue light blocking goggles. He says that there is no need for fancy and expensive lenses, and glasses with yellow, orange or amber lenses can refract blue light. However, it is also worth noting that Dr. Wu also notes that it is not necessary to wear these glasses all day unless recommended by an ophthalmologist. Otherwise, by deceiving the brain throughout the day, one can thoroughly confuse sleep-wake and daylight exposure.
Finally, Dr. Jade Wu notes that not everyone reacts to blue light in the same way and states this; “For example, children tend to be more sensitive to blue light at night, while older people tend to be more tolerant of screen exposure at night.” Thus, the effect of recommendations may vary from person to person. Of course, turning off screens a few hours before bed is best for both sleep and mental health, but if we can’t do that, we can give the tips above a try.
You can also check out our articles below to improve your sleep quality:
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Causes and little-known consequences of sleep deprivation
Reset and reset your body clock for quality sleep
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