The dangers of junk sleep

Photo credit:CNN

Do you use your smartphone as your alarm clock? If so, you may be hurting your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Clinical psychologist, Michael Breus, makes this point: Using electronic devices before bed, whether it’s your phone, laptop or the TV playing in the background, can affect your body’s natural sleep cycle.

He explains that these devices when left on emit noise. They also give off light that can interfere with the way your body releases the hormone melatonin, which helps you to feel sleepy at night. In other words, your body may not be getting the signal that it’s time to fall asleep, because the light may cause your body to think it’s still daytime. Plus, your cellphone gives off radiation. A 2008 study showed that exposure to low levels of radiation from your phone for three hours prior to bedtime can make it harder to get to sleep and have a restful night’s sleep.

How can you get your sleep schedule back on track? Breus offers this advice: Keeping your phone out of the bedroom can help. So can turning off your TV at least an hour before you go to bed. If you are accustomed to falling asleep with the TV on, set a timer so that it turns off automatically. And instead of relying on your phone to wake you up in the morning, try using a traditional alarm clock.

He also suggests parents be sure to take all electronic devices out of their children’s bedroom at least an hour before bedtime to insure that their kids sleep well and get up feeling well after a deep sleep.
Let us know if following this advice helps you to fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night.

CNN, 6/12/14

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