Technology, addiction
and sleep deprivation

W

e are living in remarkable times. Things no human being ever dreamed of even 100 years have come to pass and we now have adults who have known nothing else but mobile phones and the World Wide Web. Not only do we have immediate access to most of the world’s information at our fingertips but also most of the music, TV and films are also readily available 24/7.

Throw into the mix the instant accessibility to all of our loved ones by telephone, no matter where they are in the world and a big helping of social media addiction and we can safely say there is more distraction vying for our attention than ever before which is hindering our ability to put our heads down.

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ll of this is incredibly new technology and even electric lighting was invented a blink of an eye ago in evolutionary terms, and we as a species have not yet evolved to cope with the effects and unforeseen side effects it’s having, such as addiction and changes in our hormone levels all of which are affecting our sleep.

Most people don’t really understand the true physical and mental side effects that come from not sleeping enough but the scientific evidence leaves us in no doubt that NOT sleeping enough WILL shorten your life. Sleep deprivation also weakens the immune system and can lead to avoidable accidents. Chernobyl and the 1989 Exon Valdez disasters have been attributed to incompetence most likely caused by lack of sleep.

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o what can we do about all this?

Aside from going and living in a monastery (with no electricity) and throwing all your tech down the drain, we have to adapt. The best way to do this is by forming strong boundaries around your tech devices and forming healthy bedtime rituals that enable you to get the best chance of quality sleep which will impact your next day positively.

It has been proven that when we look at our devices before bed the blue light emitted reduces the body’s production of melatonin. Essentially you are telling your body its daytime which not only means it takes longer to get off to sleep but also that it impacts the quality of your sleep. It’s also proven to take longer to wake up and become fully alert after a night on the blue light just before bed.

So what if you can’t drag yourself away from your device. One thing you can do which can help is turning your brightness levels down or better yet install a blue-light filter such as F.lux. You can also buy glasses which will filter the blue light and you’ll look pretty cool too!

Although the device addiction is a tough one to break we promise you, if you stop looking at your screens at least an hour or two before bed you will feel noticeably better the next day, and if your having trouble sleeping in the first place then this may just be the source of the issue.

Be kind to yourself and go and read, talk or make love instead.

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