Getting enough quality sleep is essential to one’s overall health and well-being, but modern life can make it difficult. Long work hours, bright lights from our phones and laptops, and busy minds caused by the stress of daily life can all cause insomnia or other sleep problems. But how much do electronics—phones, tablets, TVs—really affect your quality of sleep?
It’s no secret that more and more of us are sleeping less than we would like. Many of us stay up late scrolling through social media or watching TV shows on our phones and computers; this behavior is even more common in younger generations. This begs the question: To what extent do electronics really impact our ability to get adequate rest?
In this article, we will discuss the potential effects that electronics have on sleep quality. We’ll look at the science behind screens, blue light exposure, and nighttime distractions to understand whether using a device before bedtime could be impacting your ability to get a healthy amount of rest each night.
University Students’ Sleep Quality and Use of Electronic Devices Before Bedtime
The use of electronic devices before bedtime has become increasingly common among university students, and this study investigated the associations between ED use and sleep quality. The results showed that 48.8% of the students experienced poor sleep quality, and 98.1% reported using at least one type of ED every day within two hours before bedtime. Furthermore, ED use near bedtime for a duration longer than 30 min, lack of exercise, alcohol consumption, coffee intake after 4 pm, and depression were associated with poorer sleep quality among university students.
It is important to note that screen time in the hour before bed can stimulate a child and delay sleepiness due to the blue light from digital devices suppressing melatonin levels. Additionally, staying up late to chat or play games as well as notifications, messages or calls during the night can disturb a child’s sleep. Therefore it is important for parents and educators to be aware of these potential risks when allowing children access to electronic devices near bedtime.
Benefits of a Technology-Free Bedroom
Having a technology-free bedroom is essential for getting a good night’s sleep. Electronic devices can delay sleep, stimulate the brain, and disrupt melatonin production. Sounds and blinking lights from electronics can cause unwanted awakenings. Having devices in the bedroom creates the temptation to look at them if you wake up during the night. To create a technology-free bedroom, remove any televisions and video game consoles from the room. Find another area in the home for charging portable electronics. Use a non-light emitting alarm clock or wake-up system, and stick to paper books when reading at night. Physically distance yourself from your devices by keeping them at least 14 inches away from your face in the evening. Wear blue light-blocking glasses to protect your eyes when using a smart device. Mute all incoming alerts and notifications and stick to familiar, low-key content before bedtime.
By creating a technology-free bedroom environment, you are setting yourself up for better sleep quality and more restful nights.
How Do You Create a Technology-Free Bedroom?
Creating a technology-free bedroom is an important step in getting a good night’s sleep. The first step is to identify and remove all the technology from your bedroom. This includes televisions, computers, tablets, phones, and any other electronic devices that can be used for entertainment or work. Once the electronics are out of the room, you can create a relaxing atmosphere with comfortable furniture, calming colors, and good lighting. Establishing a routine that helps you wind down before bedtime without technology is also key.
In addition to removing electronics from the bedroom, it’s important to develop a new bedtime routine that doesn’t involve screens. Set consistent “screens off” and “lights out” times each night and keep something to read nearby instead of using your phone or laptop. Consider using a white noise machine instead of your phone to play soothing sounds at night as well. Learning relaxation techniques like deep breathing or mindfulness meditation can also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Consider the Types of Technology You Have
Technology has become an integral part of our lives, and the average U.S. household contains five electronic devices. With 18% of homes being hyper-connected, containing 10 or more devices, it is important to consider the types of technology we have in our homes and bedrooms. An inventory should include televisions, cell phones, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, video game consoles, e-readers, smartwatches, and smart home hubs.
Unfortunately, technology in the bedroom is a growing problem that can negatively affect people’s sleep quality. 95% of people use some type of electronics within an hour of bedtime, with 75% of children and 70% of adults using electronic devices in their bedroom or in bed. This can lead to insufficient sleep for nearly 35% of American adults, 25% of young children, and up to 72% of teenagers.
Tips for an Electronic-Free Bedtime Routine
Having an electronic-free bedtime routine is essential for getting a good night’s sleep. Electronics like phones, tablets, and laptops can disrupt your natural sleep cycle and make it harder to fall asleep. To create a technology-free environment in the bedroom, start by removing all electronics from the room. Then set consistent “screens off” and “lights out” times that you stick to every night. Develop a new bedtime routine that doesn’t involve screens such as reading a book or doing some light stretching before bed. Consider using a white noise machine instead of your phone to play soothing sounds at night. You can also learn relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or mindfulness meditation to help calm your mind and prepare for sleep. Finally, set boundaries with friends, family, and work colleagues so that you can make your bedroom technology-free without worrying about missed messages, calls, or emails. Rewarding yourself for milestones such as one week, one month, or three months of technology-free sleep can help you stay motivated.
Turn off Notifications
In today’s world, it can be hard to disconnect from technology and get a good night’s sleep. Notifications from our electronic devices can be distracting and disruptive, making it difficult to relax and wind down for the day. To help create a peaceful environment in the evening, it is important to turn off notifications on all of your electronic devices.
Most laptops and smartphones have settings that allow you to mute notifications. Toggle these settings in the evening so that you are not disturbed by any alerts or messages. Additionally, take some time to identify your electronic habits and determine how they are affecting your sleep. Make small adjustments to your daily routine such as limiting screen time before bed or taking breaks throughout the day to help break the habit of overusing electronics. Find alternative activities such as reading a book or taking a walk that can help you relax and disconnect from technology. By turning off notifications and creating healthy habits around technology use, you can ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.
Institute a “No Screen” Rule Close to Bedtime
The use of electronic devices close to bedtime can have a significant effect on the quality and duration of sleep for children. Studies have shown that screen time within two hours of bedtime has been linked to inadequate sleep duration, poor quality sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness the following day. To help ensure that children get the rest they need, parents should consider instituting a “no screen” rule close to bedtime and limiting their child’s overall electronic device use to 90 minutes or less in the evening.
Parents should also avoid digital technology use in the hour before bedtime and limit and monitor violent content at any time of day. Instead of allowing their children to spend time on screens, parents should encourage physical activity or play during the day as an alternative form of entertainment. By taking these steps, parents can help ensure that their children get enough restful sleep each night which is essential for healthy development.
Establish Rules for Using Electronic Devices in Bed
It is important to establish rules for using electronic devices in bed, as it can have a negative impact on sleep quality and quantity. Studies show that 95% of people regularly use some type of electronics within an hour of bedtime, and around 75% of children and 70% of adults use electronic devices in their bedrooms or in bed. This can lead to insufficient sleep, which affects nearly 35% of American adults, 25% of young children, and up to 72% of high school students.
To counteract this, sleep experts recommend keeping technology out of the bedroom. Practical steps can be taken to ensure electronics do not interfere with sleep. Establish a rule about not watching television or using other electronic devices when in bed, and associate the bed with sleep to ensure a good night’s rest. By taking these steps, you can help your family get the restful sleep they need for optimal health and well-being.
Establish a Consistent Pre-Bedtime Relaxation Activity
Establishing a consistent pre-bedtime relaxation activity is an important part of creating a healthy sleep routine. By doing the same activities every night, your body and mind will begin to associate them with sleep. This can help you transition from day to night more easily and promote restful sleep.
Some great activities to incorporate into your pre-bedtime routine are listening to calming music, doing light yoga or stretching, reading a book, or taking a warm bath. Avoiding electronics before bedtime is also important as the blue light emitted from screens can disrupt your natural circadian rhythm and make it harder for you to fall asleep. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine for yourself and your family can help ensure that everyone gets enough restful sleep each night. With regular practice, these activities will become second nature and help you drift off into dreamland in no time!
Stick to the Same Schedule
Having a consistent sleep schedule is essential for getting quality rest. Studies have found that individuals with a consistent sleep schedule reported better sleep quality than those with an inconsistent one. This means that sticking to the same bedtime and wake-up time each day can help you get more restful sleep. It’s also important to reduce exposure to blue light in the evening, as this can make it harder for your body to fall asleep quickly. Blue light from screens like phones, computers, and TVs can interfere with your body’s natural circadian rhythms, making it difficult to fall asleep at night.
To ensure you get the best possible sleep, try to stick to the same schedule every day. Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time each day will help your body adjust and develop healthy sleeping habits. Additionally, avoiding screens before bedtime can help you relax and prepare for a good night’s rest. With some effort and dedication, you can create a consistent sleep schedule that will help you get the restful sleep you need.
Avoid Wake-Promoting Substances in the Evening
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for physical and mental health. To ensure that you get the best rest possible, it is important to avoid wake-promoting substances in the evening. Nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine should all be avoided in the hours leading up to bedtime as they can disrupt your circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin production. Additionally, creating a comfortable sleeping environment is key. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool so that you are able to relax and drift off into a peaceful sleep.
If after half an hour of lying in bed, you still find yourself unable to fall asleep, it is best to leave the bedroom and do a calming activity such as reading or listening to music until feeling sleepy again. Dim red lights should be used for night lights instead of bright white ones as these can disrupt your circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin production even further. It is also important to avoid looking at bright screens two to three hours before bedtime as this can make it harder for your body to fall asleep.
In conclusion, electronics can have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep. It is important to establish a consistent bedtime routine and stick to the same schedule each day. Additionally, avoiding wake-promoting substances in the evening and creating a comfortable sleeping environment is key for getting a good night’s rest. Finally, reducing exposure to blue light from screens two to three hours before bedtime and using dim red lights for night lights can help you get the quality sleep you need.