Technology is everywhere around us, which is both a good and a bad thing. The newest technological advancements have both advantages and disadvantages. One of the aspects of our lives on which technology has a strong influence is sleep.
Many think that technology is bad for our sleep. That’s true up to a degree, but it’s not the complete truth. The truth is that technology also has numerous benefits, and can help us sleep better.
Let’s take a look at both sides below, so we can get a full understanding of the effects technology has on the quality of our sleep.
Negative Effects of Technology on Sleep
First, let’s take a look at why technology can be the cause you’re not getting enough sleep at night.
Blue Light Suppresses Melatonin
In order to fall asleep, your body needs to start secreting melatonin, which is a hormone that tells your brain to go to sleep. However, the blue light emitted by your gadgets tells your brain the opposite. Our brains perceive blue light from smartphones and laptops just like sunlight. Therefore, the brain believes that it’s still not bedtime and suppresses melatonin.
Increased Anxiety and Stress
Did you know that the general levels of anxiety and stress today are much higher than they were 30 years ago? Many believe that technology is the main culprit. Thanks to our devices, we are constantly connected and in anticipation of a message from a friend, a crush, an email from work, or a similar notification. This causes unrest, which is the worst thing you can feel when you go to sleep.
Your Gadgets Keep You Awake
How many times have you went to bed and then proceeded to scroll through your newsfeed for another hour? If you’re like the average person out there, the answer is probably “many.” It’s hard to resist the temptation to check your Instagram feed just one more time before sleep and end up watching dozens of funny cat videos on YouTube or browsing DIY projects on Pinterest.
Positive Effects of Technology on Sleep
Not everything is so grim when it comes to technology and sleep. If you’re suffering from one of the common sleep issues, such as snoring, sleep apnea, or insomnia, technology can help you.
Technology Helps with Snoring
If you or someone around you is a frequent snorer, you know how annoying it can be. 40% of men and 20% of women snore, so it’s a common problem. This problem can be solved by wearing smart wearables, such as masks or EEG headbands which sensor when you start snoring and encourage you to change your sleeping position.
Tech May Prevent Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a little bit less common issue compared to snoring, but it can become dangerous if ignored. Those with sleep apnea stop breathing for several seconds in their sleep and wake up, which means that they are sleeping poorly. Tech solutions, such as SlumberBUMP, BiPAP, and EPAP, encourage people to sleep on their sides or regulate the airflow so it does not shut down during sleep.
Reduce Your Insomnia with Tech
Finally, insomnia is another one of the many common sleep issues people frequently struggle with. Insomnia can be acute or chronic and in some individuals, it can last for months or years. During this time, their sleep is limited and irregular, which affects their quality of life. If falling asleep is your problem, a pair of good noise cancelling headphones can help. Check out this guide on the best headphones for sleep in 2020 for more detail. The three most popular tech solutions include Sleepio, Ebb Insomnia Therapy, and Good Night Biological LED Bulb