A US research study has warned that using your phone is linked to disrupted sleep patterns, including taking a longer time to drop off to sleep.
“The more screen time, the worse the quality of sleep,” said Gregory Marcus, co-author of the research from the University of California, San Francisco.
There is an increase in research all indicating that using a phone or device with a blue screen can get in the way of going to sleep and remaining asleep of a night. Melatonin begins to rise a few hours before sleep onset, and it is kind of your body’s signal to get ready for sleep. Blue light has an alerting effect on the brain.
“I think there is quite a lot of data now showing that these electronic devices being used at night is a problem,” said Simon Archer, an expert in sleep science from the University of Surrey, who was not involved in the research.
The research team looked at smartphone use around bedtime, and the results revealed that greater screen time at the hour before bedtime was linked to a greater proportion of time spent awake in bed. It also indicated it was linked to an increase in the time it took to fall asleep.
With poor sleep linked to an increased risk of health problems, including anxiety, depression, obesity and stroke, researchers say the impact of smartphones merits scrutiny.
Research suggests that screen time, especially before bed, may be harmful in terms of helping us achieve a good night’s sleep. The point of sleep is to rest our body and mind, allowing our mind to rest and process all areas of the previous day’s events. We need a min of 7 hours restful sleep each night to revitalise and re-energise our mind and body. Using blue light from devices interferes with this.
To achieve a great restful sleep, put away the devices an hour before bed and use the Restful Sleep audio session to develop good sleep patterns. When we learn to rest comfortably, relax and fall asleep for the night, our mind and body is optimised and ready for the new day ahead. We have more energy, lower stress levels, better weight control and health. And surely we all want this.
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