Sleep issues top the list of common health problem in the United States. Some 80 million Americans are not getting enough rest and the National Institute of Health says 70 million of us qualify as having sleep difficulties. Rising obesity rates and the rampant use of antidepressants contribute to our sleep problems. However, the main culprit disrupting sleep is screens. As a country we are staying up too late checking email, using cell phones as alarm clocks and reading our Kindles. We are exposing ourselves to far too much screen light in the bedroom. Most noteworthy, screen light can scramble our circadian rhythms which evolved to follow the cycle of natural daylight.
Business Insider provide a deeper look. “Our bodies naturally follow a cycle that allows us to stay awake and alert during the day and helps us get essential rest at night. But when we look at these screens as we’re getting ready for bed, our brains get confused. Bright light can make the brain think it’s time to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that gives your body “time to sleep” cues.”
In conclusion, the next time you pick up that iPad, Kindle or cell phone in bed consider the following. Screens conspire to decrease our function and performance. Furthermore, overexposure to screens even slows or stalls recovery from injuries, accidents and everyday pain. Let’s talk snooze buttons and sleepy time at your next appointment.