How Technology Impacts Your Sleep: Tips for Better Digital Habits


In this digital world, it’s not difficult to see how our devices have become an extension of ourselves. 

Smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, laptops, TVs and other devices serve as major forms of communication, entertainment and education. These devices have become a major part of our lives and we now carry them everywhere we go, including our bedrooms.

“Recent studies have found that around 75% of children and 70% of adults use electronic devices in bed or their bedroom” (National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information)

Effects of Devices on Sleep

With one in three adults not getting enough sleep, links have been drawn connecting our beloved devices to our not-so-beloved bad sleeping habits.

Devices can affect your sleep in the following ways;

Stimulating Content: certain types of content like video games, violent content or any content that gets you excited, tend to make you less sleepy.

Effect of blue light on circadian rhythm: blue light from devices reduces the production of melatonin, a hormone which induces sleepiness.

Less sleep time: devices tend to delay the time you go to sleep, leading to insufficient sleep hours.

Sounds and lights from notifications interrupt sleep: incoming calls, texts and social media notifications could wake you up or make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.

Bed as a Workplace: Using phones, tablets and laptops in bed cause the bedroom to be associated with a place for social activities, work, school and entertainment, not just as a place for rest and sleep.

Benefits of Good Sleep

Good sleeping habits have a massive impact on your health and general well-being, these are just a few of the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep;

  • Can help you maintain or lose weight
  • Reduces stress and boosts your mood
  • Improves concentration and productivity
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Poor sleep is linked to depression
  • Lower the risk of health issues like diabetes and heart disease
  • Lack of sleep can be dangerous

Tips for Better Digital Habits in the Bedroom

Making changes to your routine can be uncomfortable but it is worth it for better sleep. Here are some of the things you can do to eliminate or reduce the effects of technology on sleep;

No devices in the Bedroom

The most effective means to prevent technology from affecting your sleep is to remove it from the bedroom completely. This eliminates all the negative effects of devices on your sleep.

Device-Free Zones

This is the milder version of the first option, where you keep devices out of reach or designate them as off-limits during bedtime.

Blue-light Filters

Most devices offer a ‘Night Mode’ option or you could install blue-light filtering apps that reduce the amount of blue light emitted by the screen.

No-Screen rule Close to Bedtime

 Devices create an amazing amount of stimulus, turning off the screens at least 30-60 minutes before bedtime will help you relax and be in a sleepy mood.

Turn off Notifications

Most devices can mute notifications of certain apps after a set time.

Airplane mode and putting your smartphone on silent is another option.

Stick to a Sleep-Schedule

Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day keeps your bedtime routine consistent. If you do this, you will notice that you naturally feel sleepy at a regular time.

Don’t Work in Bed

Bringing your work, school assignments and entertainment to bed tend to make your brain associate your bed with these things.

Outsource your Phones Responsibilities

Replace your Kindle with an actual book or set up an alarm clock at your bedside, this will help in disconnecting at and before bedtime.

Egbuna Chinelo

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