Everyone knows that sleep is important. But have you considered that the increasing availability of media and content on our phones and computers could be leading us to get less sleep at night?
I recently came across a video on Business Insider Australia explaining what happens to our brain and body when we check our phones before bed. It’s not good.
Monday night I wrapped up my school work at a respectable hour and decided to indulge myself with a couple episodes from the new season of House of Cards. I must have started around 12:15 a.m. and finished my second episode of the night around 2:15 a.m. Not terrible. I’ve stayed up later for worse things.
But after I shut my laptop, I couldn’t fall asleep. To make matters worse, I continued to lie there and think about how my inability to fall asleep was caused by the photons of light triggering my brain to not release melatonin.
Maybe this was an isolated incident — I was just riled up from watching President Underwood do his thing. But I’m guilty of checking my phone almost every night when I lie down in bed. One last scan of my email and social media sites to make sure there’s nothing important I need to know about before closing my eyes.
In an ideal world, we would be able to take Dr. Siegel’s advice and turn off all of our screens an hour before bed. As a college student, though, that just can’t happen. And I imagine much is the same for many working professionals too. Even if I was to not check my phone after crawling in bed, I would still go directly from finishing up homework or outside work to brushing my teeth to bed in about 10 minutes.
With our ability to connect with many varieties of media over many mediums, it’s difficult to disconnect. But science is telling us that our body and brain are paying the price from our infringed amount of shut eye. Just keep that in mind next time you check your Tweets or catch up on some Netflix in bed.