Hey! Put your phone down right now! (well, at least if you are reading this right before bedtime.)
I’m sure you’ve heard the recent news that using screens before bedtime can mess with your sleep patterns in a big way, and have an adverse impact on your health, but new research suggests the problem is even more severe than previous had thought.
Reading from a tablet or smartphone before bed not only makes it harder to fall asleep but also impacts how sleepy and alert you are the next day.
“This study shows comprehensive results of a direct comparison between reading with a lightemitting device and reading a printed book and the consequences on sleep.” Dr. AnneMarie Chang, an associate neuroscientist in BWH’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders
If you don’t want to feel like a basket case during the day, the findings are clear: avoid screens before bed. The studies show that sleep deficiency — not getting enough sleep or obtaining poor quality sleep — has been linked to other health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Chronic suppression of melatonin has also been associated with increased risk of certain cancers. Give your mind a break!
It seems like the common thing to do is thumb through your phone before you turn the lights off. Be UNCOMMEN. Put that phone away shortly after dinner and nowhere near bedtime. That means go easy on the late night TV as well. Instead, read a book before bed, talk to your spouse, and keep those screens far away.
You will thank us later. Now seriously, put that phone down now.
About the author: Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative. As the father of two small children, he’s a big fan of ditching the iPad and finding time with kids on the bike, on a trail, or anywhere life allows family adventure.