- Essential Takeaways
- · Engaging with screens prior to bed can inhibit your ability to fall asleep.
Texting a co-worker as you get ready for bed? Scrolling through social media or reading an industry article on your tablet while lying in bed? These types of activities can cause over-stimulation and anxiety, inhibiting your ability to fall asleep.
Screens/Technology & Sleep
Whether you’re watching a video, responding to email, texting, or reading an article, doing so will not only likely elevate your heart rate when you should be winding down in preparation for sleep but the blue light emitted by your screens will restrain the production of melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces naturally in response to darkness. Its purpose is to cue you that it’s time to sleep. Melatonin levels rise in the early evening, peak around 3 AM, and then decrease to a low by 7:30 AM. It is not produced during the day and its levels decrease with aging.
Smartphones, computers, and tablets can emit high concentrations of blue light making it harder to fall asleep. It is recommended that you limit exposure to such screens one hour before going to bed. Also, during the hour before bedtime, consider lowering the ambient light in your home with the use of dimmers and turning off any sources of harsh white or blue light.
Pay close attention to your screen time and remember that the bedroom is for sleep and sex, not computers, cell phones, and TV.
Bradford A. How Blue LEDs Affect Sleep. LiveScience. https://www.livescience.com/53874-blue-light-sleep.html. Published February 27, 2016. Accessed January 21, 2021.
Mouland JW, Martial F, Watson A, Lucas RJ, Brown TM. Cones Support Alignment to an Inconsistent World by Suppressing Mouse Circadian Responses to the Blue Colors Associated with Twilight. Current Biology. 2019;29(24). doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.10.028