Screen time & sleep

Screen time, has for long, been associated with lack of sleep and sleep, as we all know it, is extremely important for good health. Any kind of screen time certainly hampers sleep as it results in cognitive stimulation, which is the opposite of what you want before bedtime. “When you are using your phone or laptop, or watching TV, the screen emits light which gives the brain the impression that it is not bed time yet. This affects the production of a hormone called melatonin, which contributes to insomnia, sleep deprivation or poor quality of sleep,” says Bhakti Thakkar Bauva, clinical psychologist.



Researchers of Salk Institute for Biological Studies have pinpointed how certain cells in the eye process ambient light and reset our internal clocks or circadian rhythm. When these cells are exposed to artificial light late into the night, our internal clocks get confused, resulting in a host of health issues.

While we use our phones, we tend to send emails, text, pay bills or see the news. Most of these activities can cause stress which increases the release of the stress hormone, ‘cortisol’, in the brain. Therefore, the brain’s electrical activity increases, refusing to calm down. Hence, it is essential that we avoid using a screen for at least an hour or two before bedtime.


SLEEPING NEXT TO YOUR PHONE?

Even if you’re already asleep and your phone is on silent, if your phone beeps, it will emit light, which is perfectly capable of piercing through your sleeping eyes and waking you up. First things first, automatically set your phone’s blue light filter to come on at a certain time every day – like 7 pm or 8 pm. Keep your phone away from where you can reach it from your bed – on a night stand, bedside table, or even outside your bedroom.

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