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Mobile Devices and Sleep or its Lack

By October 17, 2013December 9th, 2014Legacy Sport & Wellness Blog

You can’t go anywhere without seeing iPads, smartphones, Nook Readers…we are definitely hooked up to an incredible array of mobile devices.

Convenient as it may be to read or text in a dark room, those glowing screens can disrupt sleep.  The light-emitting diodes in mobile devices create that bright glow and that is thought to interfere with secretion of the hormone melatonin, which helps normalize your sleep-wake cycle.

A recent Mayo Clinic study advises mobile device users to lower the brightness settings when in dark or dim surroundings and to be sure devices are kept at least 14 inches from the face.  If you can sleep with your phone in a different room, even better.  Emissions from a turned off phone can disrupt some people’s neurotransmitters.  Likewise, a turned off television or a digital clock can be disruptive to sleep.

There are other things which can create a sleepless night:  caffeine, sugar, nicotine, alcohol, poor control of blood sugar levels , the aforementioned electromagnetic pollution, and entrainment.  Entrainment is a synchronization to a dysfunctional sleep schedule, which can happen in as little as 7 to 21 days.  For example, you are working under a tight deadline and have to stay up until midnight for one to three weeks in a row in order to finish the task.  That is enough time for your internal body clock to reset itself, waiting until midnight to reduce cortisol production and increase melatonin production.

Optimize your sleep wake cycles by getting to sleep by 10:30 p.m., minimizing your exposure to bright lights, sleeping in a completely dark room, avoiding stimulants after lunch, eating right for your metabolic type, drinking plenty of water, and exercising in the morning, but never after dinner!

“Sleep is the most under-utilized therapy.”  – Dr. Daniel Kalish  A good night’s sleep is priceless to your health.

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