Sleep is such a crucial thing – it can drastically alter your well-being. A good night’s sleep can help you live a healthy life in both mind and body, while bad sleep can add stress and severely damage your health. Thankfully, there are factors to assure a goodnight’s sleep, and there are also some things you may not realize are already making you sleep worse. It’s highly likely you’re getting bad sleep by engaging in the worst thing you can do before bed: looking at a screen before you go to sleep.
Unfourtenetly, this is a bad habit many seem to have. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine revealed that around 90 percent of Americans admitted to using some kind of electronic device within an hour of trying to go to sleep. But how exactly does looking at your screen affect your health? According to research and sleep experts, there are many different answers when it comes to how screens can make you sleep worse.
First, even a “quick check” of your phone before bed can stimulate your brain to a more active and awake stage. And then there’s the issue of blue light. Most electronic devices use blue light, which can be detrimental in many ways, especially when it comes to sleeping. Many studies, including one 2018 study published in Chronobiology International, have found that taking in blue light in the few hours before sleep suppresses melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate sleep times. So, when exactly should you turn your screens off before going to sleep? The National Sleep Foundation recommends you take at least 30 minutes of screen-free time right before you try to go to sleep—but the earlier you turn off the screen, the better. As mentioned above, sleep is extremely important, so make sure you are doing it in the best way possible.