Our month long Sleeptember campaign has officially ended and we’ve been busy promoting the healthy benefits of a good night’s sleep with lots of practical tips on how to achieve good quality sleep.
One of our top tips is to switch off gadgets before bed – or even better, banish them from the bedroom altogether! Technology use has risen dramatically over the past five years and it’s a major culprit in stopping people from dropping off to sleep and also waking them up in the night.
So for our September poll we thought it would be interesting to find out how many of you, in the hour before bedtime, use some form of technology – be that your smartphone, tablet, computer, TV or games machine.
It won’t come as a surprise that 93% of those who answered the poll admitted that they did use one of those things in the hour before bedtime. Just a mere 7% said they didn’t use anything.
This only backs up our concerns that we have an obsession with being connected.
According to research:
– 91% of us keep our mobiles within three feet of ourselves
– 84% said they couldn’t go a single day without their mobile device
– One in three of us makes phone calls and sends or receives texts/emails in bed
– The average person spends as much as three hours a day or more on social networks – that’s before you take into account browsing the internet!
The impact of technology on sleep is vast.
Firstly it stimulates the brain which is the exact opposite of what should be happening before sleep. It also stimulates the body – responding to an email, a video game or a tense TV drama makes your body tense. This act can trigger a ‘fight or flight’ response and as a result, cortisol (a stress hormone produced by the adrenal gland) is released which speeds up heart rate and raises blood pressure.
Then you’re working against the blue light generated from these electronic devices which suppresses your evening rise melatonin which you need to feel sleepy.
Becoming ‘over wired’ means you ultimately sleep less and less. As you stay up later on a consistent basis, your body clock readjusts and delayed sleeping patterns set in.
So switch off those gadgets. There’s no need to be reading emails at 10pm and resist the urge to check Facebook or Twitter one more time. Trust me you’re not missing out on anything important – the only thing you’re missing out on is sleep.