If you find yourself logging onto social media apps very often – after waking up, going to work, and before going to sleep – then you might be in big trouble. The reason for this is because spending too much time online can sabotage your health, especially your sleep quality and quantity. We all know why sleep is important to us human beings.
After exhausting a day’s worth of energy, sleep is the only way we can regain strength to function well the next day. Too much time on the internet can ruin your sleeping patterns, the body’s circadian rhythm, and your overall health and wellness.
That’s why it’s always best to be aware of why we should shorten our stay online and get enough sleep. If you want to know more about the adverse effects of spending too much time online, and how you can battle it using natural ways and technological methods, then read on.
Why is Spending Too Much Time Online Bad For You?
Researchers from the University of Gothenburg conducted a study that found out how spending too much time on your mobile phone or computer can develop stress, sleeping disturbances and provides adverse effects on a person’s mental health.
The study, lead by Sara Thomée, studied the habits of 4,100 Swedish individuals, both men and women, aged between 20-24, took one year to conclude this matter. The research results state that “High mobile phone use was associated with sleep disturbances and symptoms of depression for the men and symptoms of depression for the women at 1-year follow-up.”
These results that we, as human beings, need to balance out our time on the internet, because browsing Facebook, Twitter or Instagram too much can damage the way you handle your sleep, leading to poor sleep quality and quantity.
There are ways we can battle these adverse effects, while not compromising our slumber, and that’s through keeping our circadian rhythm healthy and using blue light blockers before sleeping.
Keeping the Circadian Rhythm Healthy
Our bodies have an internal body clock that tells the mind and body whether it’s time to sleep or not. The cycle of our circadian rhythm operates 24/7 and influences our internal function. That’s why it’s important that we keep our circadian rhythm as healthy as possible.
By spending too much time on your mobile phone or computer can develop stress, you’re disrupting the natural cycle of your body. Our circadian rhythm needs signals from external forces, it uses signals from external forces such as daylight and darkness.
This fact makes sense because sunlight tells our brain to get things done and night means sleeping and drowsiness. But daylight isn’t an equal mixture of each color; it’s mostly blue light, a stimulator to the body’s internal clock.
Getting blue light when it’s daytime is great, because it promotes alertness, and improves our overall mood. But seeing blue light at night is a no-go because blue light doesn’t support the production of a sleeping hormone called melatonin.
When you’re browsing social media apps in the evening, do you ever feel like awake and for some reason, you can’t easily sleep? There’s a reason for that, and it’s because the devices we use, our smartphones, computers, and television emits a significant amount of blue light.
The blue light these devices emit is enough to trick your brain that it’s the middle of the afternoon, even though it’s midnight, resulting in a bad sleep quality and lesser sleeping hours. For these reasons, our bodies do not get the signal it needs to tell if it’s time to sleep or not, resulting in a restless night and grumpy mornings.
We can’t just get rid of our electronic devices as it’s part of the modern human lifestyle nowadays. Luckily, there is a way you can block blue light from entering your eyes, keeping your circadian rhythm healthy while still using these devices.
Solve the Problem Using These Tips
One way to address this issue and get enough sleep to keep you functioning while still using electronic devices is to use glasses that block blue light. These are mostly amber-colored glasses and are available in many stores.
In fact, a study by researchers from Université Laval found out that when people use these glasses, their brains produce melatonin as if it were dark, even in a lit room or using smartphones and computers. These results show that you can still use your electronic devices and get sufficient sleep in the process.
In another study, the results indicate that blue-blocking lights have a positive effect on a person’s sleep and mental performance. It goes to show how these devices can help in achieving quality sleep for better health.
Another way to battle this is to use lamps that emit orange or red light and putting it on bedside tables. You can also keep your bedroom as dark as possible to promote sleep more or use sleep masks while sleeping. It’s also recommended to turn off all lights in your home one to two hours before bedtime, but it’s up to your preference.
The bottom line is that your body needs sleep, but your electronic devices keep you from doing that, so the solution is to use other methods that work best for you. This way, you’ll never have to worry about stress and sleeplessness in the day anymore.
Spending too much time online can lead to dangers, and it’s best that we avoid these problems before it gets out of our control. We must know how to keep our circadian rhythm going and use devices that can help us. Bear in mind that we need sleep to function well, so it’s best that we need to try our best to achieve the perfect slumber we deserve.
Leslie Wyman is a health enthusiast who likes to write blog posts that talk about lifestyle and wellness. As a budding interior designer, she often writes about how sleep correlates with furniture and browse Beds Online as a source of her ideas. In her free time, Leslie likes to cook and bake for her friends.