How many of you, just before going to sleep, stick your eyes to your smartphone’s screen to read the last emails, check notifications on various social media or text with someone?
Not just before going to sleep, but even when already lying in bed. A very widespread problem also and especially among younger people.
What we often don’t consider are the consequences that this attitude can have on our rest and therefore on the quality of our life.
Here’s what happens to your brain when you’re in front of a screen!
When we stick our eyes to the smartphone’s screen with its bright light as we look at images, read texts and write words, we’re also telling our brain that it’s not time to sleep yet.
Therefore our brain reduces the production of melatonin, the hormone which regulates our biological clock. Spending time in front of a screen will keep us awake more than necessary and once we put the phone down, we’ll have difficulties in falling asleep immediately.
Sleep at least 7 hours per night for a better living
As Doctor Dan Siegel from UCLA University reminds us, while we sleep our brain’s neurons rest, but more importantly, glial cells “clean up” our brain from toxins produced during the day.
If sleeping hours are reduced to 5 or less per night, most of the toxins will remain there and will compromise many of the brain’s capacities that are critical to everyday activities:
- difficulties in concentrating;
- reduced storage capacities;
- difficulties in making decisions;
- reduced insulin production essential for the proper functioning of the metabolism.
So not only will your mental skills be reduced, but even your waistline may be affected!
Turn everything off one hour ahead!
Remember that a good habit is to turn your devices off an hour before going to sleep: try following the advice given for a healthy good night ritual!
Change the alarm clock!
If you use your smartphone as an alarm clock, remember to set it at least an hour before going to sleep and lay it away from your bed in airplane mode so not to give in to temptation.
Or, even better, you could rediscover the appeal of more traditional alarm clocks.