Remember when eight hours of sleep was the ideal? While that recommendation has dropped to seven solid hours of rest, more than one-third of adults still don’t get enough sleep. So what’s interrupting our sleep cycles? Why are so few people getting the deep REM rest they need? As it turns out, some of the largest culprits are the devices with screens in your home.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO WE REALLY NEED?
Humans are creatures who follow the sun, even down to the way we sleep. Ideally, we should sleep when the sun goes down and wake up when the sun rises. Thanks to artificial lighting, however, our biology is disrupted. Television sets have blue LED lights, as do smartphones and tablet screens. Every time you binge-watch a few episodes before bed or check Facebook one last time, you suppress the melatonin naturally created by your body, which can make sleeping deeply or sleeping well difficult. Instead of preparing your body for sleep, your screen time only causes you to become more alert.
Put down the phone and turn off the TV for the benefit of your mental health. Start shutting off your electronics about 30 minutes before you go to bed. Spend some time meditating and quieting your mind. Maintain your home’s HVAC system and check the temperature of your thermostat to ensure your bedroom is neither too hot nor too cold. Do what you can to alleviate your stress before you stretch out under the covers. Learn more about what’s interrupting your sleep with the infographic below.