As part of our Unplug to Recharge theme for April, we’re focusing on ways you can unplug to cut out technology related stress from your life. Check out our general tips for unplugging and share your tips using #ThisIsActive on social media.
According to the Huffington Post, studies have shown a prevalence of negative effects on sleep due to constant usage of smartphones and the internet:
- One study says young, heavy technology users have a higher risk of sleep disturbances and mental health issues.
- Browsing light-emitting devices like iPads and e-readers at bedtime can disrupt sleep.
Harvard agrees, stating that blue light emitting from our screens is probably hampering our ability to get some quality shut-eye. “Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night,” the study reported.
What is ‘blue light’?
Blue light is a regular part of the light spectrum we see everyday. However, there is much more of it coming out of screens versus natural light coming from the sun. According to Scientific American, studies have shown that blue light disrupts your body’s ability to make melatonin, the naturally occurring hormone that helps you fall asleep at night.
|Turn on iPhone's Night Shift feature|
Since light is a huge part of how your body knows when to sleep or when to wake up, your body may get confused right before bed if you spend too much time looking at your smartphone or tablet right before lights out.
Of course you can always try to power down your phone for at least 30 minutes before bed. But there are also apps you can use to filter out blue light from your phone. If you use an iPhone, you already have a built-in feature called Night Mode. There are also several apps for Android you can download to filter out blue light, like Twilight or Blue Light Filter Night Mode.
If you have any issues falling asleep at night and you frequently use your smartphone before bed, try these two tips to help ease you into a better night’s rest. Let us know in the comments if you've tried any of these tips and if they've made a difference.