Posted on Jul 11, 2012 | Comments 0
If you suffer from insomnia, the cause for this may be literally within your arm’s reach – your smart phone, tablet or other personal electronic device may be responsible for difficulties getting that shut eye.
How electronic devices could interfere with sleep
So many of us are constantly attached to our handheld devices – phones for calling up, tablets and smart phones for connecting to the net, getting the news, checking up on email and social network sites; eBook readers for novels and the news… the list goes on. We use these all through the day, and even well into the night.
Researchers are saying that it is blue light that these devices emit, that could be responsible for our sleeplessness. This blue light is associated with daylight and daytime, and it serves to suppress production of melatonin. Melatonin is supposed to be produced at night to help us sleep.
In particular, it is LED (light emitting diode) screens that cause in sleep interference. This artificial suppression of melatonin is what makes us feel less sleepy than we should be feeling. The blue light enters the brain, alters the body clock and makes us more alert at a time when we should be winding down and wanting to sleep.
Though the TV also emits artificial light, it is usually at least 10 feet away from us. However these handheld devices are typically closer to the face and this is what increases the intensity of the effect of the light.
Tips to combat sleeplessness
Our work or habits governing social interaction could make it difficult for us to “switch off” from our handheld devices, but there is help at hand:
A computer program called f.lux available at stereopsis.com/flux helps to reduce the amount of blue light that these devices produce at night.
If you’re reading an eBook reader in bed, change the settings so that the background is black and the letters white so as to decrease the amount of light that reaches the eyes.
Also use good sleep hygiene by taking a relaxing bath or engaging in some other soothing or quiet activity just before bed time. Consider using blackout curtains so that ambient light from outside doesn’t enter your bedroom.
A sleep mask to help block out all light as you sleep may also help. Soundproofing a room to block outside noises or using a fan or other source of white noise can also help people sleep better.
Melatonin is an all natural sleeping aid that has helped thousands of people cope with sleeping disorders.
Posted in: Sleep Disorders