There are only two types of tech: Those that help you sleep and those that keep you up. The concept of sleep hygiene is a tricky one, which is why some physicians choose additional years of schooling and internships in order to practice it. It might not seem “hard” to someone who rarely has a restless night, but for those suffering from insomnia or sleep deprivation, it can impact every part of your well-being.
There are technologies such as CPAP machines that aid in sleep apnea and apps for better sleep, but what about the technology that’s keeping you awake? Avoiding them or ditching them might be all it takes for better, higher quality sleep. Here are some of the most common offenders and what to do about them:
1. Your smartphone
Does it double as an alarm clock? If so, it’s probably within arm’s reach when you’re in bed and for some people it’s way too tempting to scroll through social media or watch Vine videos. However, you should aim for a two-hour window screen-free before bedtime. This allows your body to naturally relax and, with time, will trigger to your brain that it’s time to start shutting down for the night.
2. The TV
Watching television, even if you’re prone to drifting off during “The Late Show” is actually disturbing your sleep. You might snooze a little, but it’s rarely deep sleep. If you have a television in the bedroom, consider removing it and also sticking to the two hour “no screen” time including television. As a bonus, you’ll get extra time for family, reading or other non-screen activities.
3. Plugged-in electronics
Even if you’re not actually using them, some electronics can give off bright charging lights. Different people have different light sensitivities and triggers. However, all light (artificial or natural) stops the creation of melatonin in your body, which is crucial for sleep. If you can, remove or unplug any electronics in your bedroom for optimal sleep.
4. Loud motors/machines
Do you like to run the dishwasher at night so you have a clean, cool and dry morning task? How about the dryer? Any additional sounds can disturb your sleep, especially if they end with a “ding!” to signal the chore is done. Switch your habits to allow for a quieter night.
Tech and sleep don’t always go hand in hand. Try limiting technology that can be disruptive and discover how much better your sleep can be.