We have all heard the saying mind over matter. This concept is especially true when it comes to sleep and the use of modern technology. Today’s society as a whole is sleep deprived, which in turn can reap havoc on a person’s day-to-day functionality and even their health. While oversleeping can harm your personal health, becoming sleep deprived can have equal side effects. Although the reasoning behind lack of sleep or sleeping too much differentiates from person to person, technology has been said to be a primary reason.
The ideal sleep condition is in a dark room, allowing little light to sneak in. This lack of light will allow the eyes to rest, and the brain to wind itself down due to lack of visual queues. Lights from the TV or computer can have adverse effects on your sleeping condition. If you are the type of person who can fall asleep soundly with the TV on, you may subject yourself to being woken up by bright flashes on screen, or even a combination of the lights from the TV and noise from another source.
The computer, like the TV, constantly stimulates the brain while in use. The bright rays of light being dispersed from these electronic devices can actually “trick” the brain into a state of being awake. The brain associates the bright light with morning. When the brain makes this association, forget about sleep. Your best bet to get tired would be to read a book or do an activity that is not very stimulating.
The ocular nerve, the body’s largest nerve, must process the constant incoming text, images and light from the screens and send it to the brain, forcing it to work and translate the incoming information.
Some common health effects associated with constant nighttime use of the TV and computer are circadian rhythm disorder, or delayed sleep phase syndrome. Many people become the proverbial “night owl” due to this disorder, since a person will get to sleep later and later each night.
A person should stop using electronic devices such as the computer, TV and mobile smartphones at least 30 minutes before bed time to ensure the body is fully relaxed in preparation for a sound sleep.