Sleep is a key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle: it affects your energy levels, your weight, your attitude, your mental functions, and even how your body functions. When you get enough consistent sleep, you are a healthier and happier person.
If you’re one of the Americans who say they’re not getting enough sleep at night, your technology habits may be to blame. Technology use right before bedtime is harmful to your sleep says the 2011 Sleep in America poll, which was conducted by the the National Sleep Foundation. The study shows that 95% of Americans use a technology device (computer, phone, etc.) in the hour before bedtime, absolutely wrecks your body’s clock, as it were, thereby preventing you from having a decent night’s sleep. The study’s conclusion is that Americans don’t get enough sleep overall. Waking up several times throughout the night, waking up too early, snoring like a truck, etc.
What’s causing this? technology is to blame. The hour before bedtime is critical, since ideally that is the time you’d be winding down before going to bed. TV watching, texting your friends, jumping on Facebook, reading tweets, etc. All of this mental stimulation essentially keeps your brain awake, and prevents the release of a certain hormone that tells your body, “Hey it’s time to go to bed. Get tired.” Chronic lack of sleep can contribute to many problems such as a sleep debt, obesity and difficulty concentrating.
By doing these two simple things, technology sleep debt won’t happen to you:
1. Get technology out of your bedroom. An alarm clock is fine, but a TV, DVD player, stereo, your laptop, iPad, iPod, game system is not ok. Set the boundary and make the agreement with yourself and or your spouse that the bedroom is “off-limits” for technology devices.
2. In the hour before going to bed, stop the technology intake. Give your body a chance to wind itself down from all the technology stimulation.
Bottom line is that it comes down to making healthy choices. So choose them. Make the decision to turn the technology and lights off so your body and mind can get a well-rested night of sleep. If you do this, you might be surprised at just how great you feel, how much more energy you have, and how happy you will be after getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
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