Many social media and phone addicts bring their phone into their bedrooms at night, and mostly put them on charge right next to their heads, and hours later may be wondering why they still haven’t fallen asleep.
Within those lingering hours, text messages have appeared, Facebook notifications have popped up and a new follower on Instagram has come through. Each time, the phone has lit up and awaken the restless sleeper from five minutes of an ordinary attempt to fall asleep.
These phone lights actually play a role in why people may have trouble falling asleep, and have trouble falling into a deep sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, light exposure promotes wakefulness.
Not only are our phones prohibiting our ability to fall asleep, but television lights, lamps and other sorts of artificial lighting provoke our senses and keep our brain moving, stopping it from slowing down and eventually allowing ourselves to fall asleep.
According to sleep.org, artificial lights stop the body’s circadian rhythm, which is essentially your body’s clock that controls the body’s feelings of wakefulness and sleepiness over a period of 24 hours.
This is determined by the part of the brain that is triggered by light, which is why we feel awake in the daytime, and get sleepy as the night draws near. Artificial lights throw the natural order of the body clock out, by tricking the brain to thinking it’s still daytime, making the body awake and alert.
If the body thinks it’s daytime, the brain holds onto a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin. This in turn makes it more difficult to fall asleep, delaying and reducing the period of REM sleep.
According to sleep.org, the lights on our phones, laptops and tablets are the worst type of artificial light. According to research, the brain is most sensitive to blue light, which has shortwave lengths that are constantly alerting the brain and keeping it at it’s most active.
The website, sleep.org, urges all users to power down from up to two-to-three hours before bed. Reading before bed is one of the most efficient ways to fall asleep and keeping the electronics out of the room altogether. But, if the phone must be in the bedroom, flight mode makes sure that sleep isn’t disturbed by incoming messages and notifications, resulting in a good night’s sleep.