Insufficient sleep affects approximately 35% of American adults, 25% of young children, as well as up to 72% of high school students. Technology in the bedroom is a rising concern for people of all ages, despite the fact that many causes can disrupt your sleep.
According to the 2011 Sleep in America Survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 95% of individuals routinely use devices within an hour of going to bed. With the rise in popularity of smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, this trend has only gotten worse. Many children and adults have been observed to use electronic devices in their bedrooms or while they sleep.
Because of the dangers of using electronic devices at night, it is best to avoid using them before bedtime. A growing number of sleep experts advise that technology be kept out of the bedroom as a countermeasure to this problem
As daunting as it may sound to get rid of all gadgets in your bedroom, the benefits can be enormous. You’ll learn how to avoid devices interfering with your or your child’s sleep by following our advice.
Benefits of a Technology-Free Bedroom
1. More/Better Sleep.
The studies on this topic keep coming out on a regular basis. The less sleep people get, the more TV they watch before bed. Many people are unable to resist the allure of a computer screen, according to new research. We also find it more difficult to sleep at night because of artificial light exposure between nightfall and the time we get up.
2. More Conversation.
When you’re married, you’ll have some of the most crucial and intimate conversations in your bedroom at nighttime The only exception to this rule is if you have a laptop on your lap at all times.
3. More Conscious Reflection.
When you get home at night, you have plenty of time to reflect on the day. Because of this, we may learn from our mistakes and become better human beings. Because of its greater importance, it is a foolish trade to give it up for the sake of enjoyment.
4. More/Better sex.
Television use in the bedroom is half that of non-TV users among couples. And better, more enjoyable sex is a result of couples choosing to engage in emotional communication with one another. To put it another way, there are more interesting things to do in bed except play Angry Birds.
5. More Reading.
Light reading in the evening can help many people get to sleep more quickly.. If you can’t fall asleep while reading, the advantages of reading still outweigh those of mindless electronic use by a wide margin. Most of the time, removing electronic devices from your bedroom will lead to an increase in the amount of time you spend reading.
6. More Mindfulness in the Morning.
There are many solid reasons not to read your email in the morning, as others have pointed out. Similarly, it could be argued that checking Facebook or Twitter before putting your feet on the ground is a bad idea.
7. More Relationship within Family.
Children of all ages can benefit from eliminating electronic devices from their bedrooms. Even if I’m not anti-technology, I utilize it all the time in my own home. Instead of locking ourselves away in our rooms to do our homework, surf the Internet, watch TV, or play video games, we should keep technology in the common spaces of our houses to foster more social interaction. It also helps us keep tabs on our children’s online activities.
8. Less Sleep-Texting.
If we’re seeing an increase in people sending intimate and embarrassing texts in our sleep, it’s time to rethink our lifestyle choices.
9. Less Accessibility.
Few of us have the luxury of having our daily routines open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is nothing wrong with checking your phone for text alerts or Facebook updates or Twitter mentions or emails, but they are typically just diversions. They overburden us with knowledge that we don’t need. There are numerous health benefits to keeping your bedroom a notification-free zone. We are able to detach our thoughts from the events of the day because of it.
10. Less of the Emotions Attached to Social Media.
The results of the research aren’t looking good. Envy, loneliness, irritation, and fury are all common emotions among social media users. Interaction on social media can be beneficial in some cases. However, if we can remove these negative feelings from our bedroom, I’m all for it.
11. Rooms serve purposes.
Kitchens are for preparing food, dining rooms are for gathering with friends and family, and offices are for getting things done. The more clearly we define the functions of these spaces, the more efficient they become. Get rid of all the electronics in your bedroom so that you can better relax, sleep, and enjoy sex.
Technology-free bedrooms are a novel concept in today’s society, but it’s not without precedent. When someone suggests accepting it, they’ll be faced with a list of reasons why it’s impossible:
- “I wake up to the alarm on my phone.”
- To begin the day, I’ll need to check the weather.
- “I read in bed on my iPad.”
- “I can’t get to sleep unless I watch TV.”
However, the advantages of a technology-free bedroom should not be underestimated. Most of our excuses are easily solved with a little more creativity and attention, which serves as a helpful reminder that technology should serve us, not the other way around.
How Do You Create a Technology-Free Bedroom?
Considering how pervasive technology has become in our daily lives, it can be difficult to imagine a world without it. To make the process easier, there are a few basic actions that can be taken to assist you adapt to a new sleep environment.
Consider the Types of Technology You Have
Ideally, the bedroom should be a tranquil, quiet, and calm haven from the rest of our hectic, noisy, and stressful daily routines. However, as with other things in our WiFi-connected lives, the bedroom often serves a variety of functions beyond sleep and sex. Here, we can do just about anything but sleep, including reading, working on a computer, watching television, and going online. We’ve assembled many technologies to maximize comfort, convenience, and health in order to strike the right balance between a relaxing, healthy environment and our continually connected existence.
1. The Frame by Samsung
For those who insist on keeping a television in the room but don’t want to compromise on style, this 4K UHD display is an excellent option. Rather than being an eyesore, The Frame transforms all those pixels into a relaxing digital art display, which is why it may be allowed in the bedroom.
2. Kokoon Sleep Sensing Headphones
When boarding a plane, many people put on noise-canceling headphones. The EEG brainwave reading sensors in these headphones are designed to monitor the wearer’s sleep patterns and playback active white noise, making them ideal for the bedroom. Comfortable, long-lasting sound is provided by the Kokoon’s soft ear cups.
3. Philips Hue Lighting System
Our old CFLs, halogens, and incandescent bulbs were replaced with Hue goods when we moved into our new house. There is a motion sensor under my bed that detects when I get out of bed and activates an LED bulb in the hallway at a pre-programmed dimming level to help me find my way when I’m not yet fully awake.
4. LeGrand Wi-Fi Ready On/Off Outlet
For this purpose, I use a number of Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plugs, which are great add-on WiFi smart outlets. This is why I am considering upgrading to LeGrand’s wirelessly enabled USB port, which is sleek and flush with its two-plug design, eliminating the need for an additional hardware eye-sore in my bedroom. LeGrand’s adorne line, which comprises switches, dimmers, outlets, wallplates, and even a future, gesture-controlled switch for lighting, contains the outlet as one of many components.
5. Blue Pure 211 by Blueair
To help allergy sufferers (and anyone who wants cleaner air in the space they spend the most time in each day), Swedish industrial design and HEPA technology come together. At its quietest setting, each Blue model collects 99.97% of all airborne particles, including those as small as 0.1 microns. As a result of the Blue series’ vast physical dimensions, Blueair’s designers chose a variety of colored cloth pre-filters to give the unit’s design an useful and fashionable personality.
6. The Lineal Adjustable Base
To the untrained eye, the Lineal appears to be a beautifully modern bed frame, made expressly to support Saatva’s compact innerspring mattress line. When compared to a normal mattress base, there are a slew of surprises that can make a big difference in the way you sleep, read, lounge, or watch television. Every feature of the Lineal can be controlled through wireless remote control, making it the ultimate in personalized comfort and convenience. It’s not your typical method to wind down at night with the Lineal’s programmable pre-sets for elevating and lowering legs and torso portions independently, adjustable placement, under-bed lights, and 3-speed full-body massage.
7. Sonte Smart Film Digital Shade
Using Sonte’s digital shade, you may instantly transform your home or office into a complete privacy barrier. As soon as an app is activated, an electric current changes a non-transparent window film into a primary privacy screen that can be used in conjunction with a light-blocking shade or drapes at night.
8. Google Home
We’re more likely to get stuck in a “don’t want to move” trance in the bedroom. Voice-activated digital assistants like Google Home (or Amazon Echo) can be very useful in these situations because they can answer queries about the current weather, plans for the future, and what to watch on TV tonight. The lights may be turned off without having to roll over and reach for a light switch when used in conjunction with the aforementioned Hue light bulbs.
9. ZEEQ Smart Pillow
While you sleep, this pillow is always listening for any snoring noises, as well as evaluating your twitching and wriggling. An elbow-to-the-stomach response is considerably more preferred to the ZEEQ’s gentle vibrations that encourage you to change positions. A Bluetooth speaker and an app stocked with calming songs and binaural beats are also hidden inside the pillow’s foam cocoon to hasten your descent into Slumberville. As a gift for your husband, this could be a big hit!
10. Nightingale Smart Home Sleep System
A relaxing ambient sleep system, such as the Nightingale’s, might be a good option for people with mild cases of insomnia who are looking for a non-medicated alternative to getting more shuteye. A library of 15 ambient audio recordings is played through two plug-in units working in tandem to create soothing “sound blankets.” Using the sweet spot in between the two units, the listener is engulfed in sound formulations designed to help with sleep disorders like tinnitus or to drown out the snoring of a neighboring room.
Tips for Making Your Bedroom Technology-Free
Removing electronic devices from the bedroom is the simplest method to create a peaceful sleeping environment devoid of technology. As daunting as it may seem, following recommendations might help you adapt and make the most of your adjustment.
- Find a place outside of your bedroom where you can store all of your electronic devices while you sleep. When you wake up in the morning, all of your devices will be ready to go.
- Children and adults benefit from routines, so build a whole new nighttime ritual that doesn’t include watching television or checking email. Instead, take practical steps like putting on your pjs and relaxing ones like stretching or reading in low light.
- Set regular times for “screens off” and “lights off.” Set a timer for when you’ll turn off all of your electronics and turn out the lights so that you can go to sleep. Having a strict “screens off” hour prevents you from staying up to read one more email or watch one more episode of your favorite TV show. It also aids in the development of a normal sleep routine and acclimatization to a certain length of time without screen use.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend in front of the screen at night by keeping a book or magazine handy. A good book on your bedside will help you avoid FOMO (fear of missing out) while you’re not surrounded by your electronic devices.
- Don’t do any work in bed: The ideal mattress is for sex and sleep, not work. Your brain associates bedtime with these activities, reducing the desire to bring technology into the bedroom.
- In the event that you now use your phone as an alarm clock, a simple alarm clock can be used to ensure that you wake up on time. To keep your bedroom dark, most alarm clocks include a low brightness setting.
- As an alternative to playing relaxing noises on your phone, consider a white noise machine, which does the same thing without placing email and texts at your fingers.
- Take up relaxation techniques like deep breathing or mindfulness meditation to help ease the anxiety that comes with being away from your phone and put yourself in the right mindset to sleep soundly.
- Maintain a healthy work-life balance: It’s a common misconception that you must have your phone by your bedside at all times in case you receive an urgent notification. Because of the widespread belief that you must be online at all times, you run the danger of experiencing sleep disturbances. It’s a good idea to warn your loved ones and coworkers that you won’t be available at night and early in the morning. By establishing this boundary, you are able to completely eliminate electronics from your bedroom and not have to stress about forgetting important messages or calls.
- Remove devices from your bedroom and reward yourself for reaching particular milestones, such as one week, one month, or one year of a gadget-free sleep environment if it feels like a punishment.
You may or may not need to follow all of these steps, depending on the specifics of your scenario. Instead, experiment with the strategies that work best for you to get rid of electronics in your bedroom and improve your sleep hygiene.
Tips if You Can’t Make Your Bedroom Technology-Free
In the end, it may be impossible to totally remove technology from your bedroom if you have a lot of gadgets. As a result, you should follow these guidelines to reduce the impact of electronic devices on your sleep:
- Don’t clutter your bedroom with too many electronics. Keep as many devices out of your bedroom as you can, even if you can’t get all of them.
- After all, just because you have technology in your bedroom doesn’t mean you have to use it just before you go to sleep. Avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before going to sleep.
- You may be less likely to check your phone or tablet when you’re trying to relax or sleep if you keep it in a drawer.
- Don’t be distracted by persistent vibrations or flashing lights by turning off notifications on your electronic devices in airplane mode.
- When you wake up in the middle of the night and are tempted to check your phone, give yourself some time to go back asleep before checking your phone to see what time it is. The light from your phone or tablet can wake up your mind and keep you from falling back asleep, so don’t look at it too late at night.
- You may be able to reduce the influence of light from electronic devices by lowering the brightness of your screen to the lowest setting.
- Reduce the amount of blue light your gadget emits by using the night mode. This feature may reduce the impact of using the gadget on your melatonin production and circadian rhythm.
- Reduce the detrimental effects of blue light by wearing special glasses that block off blue light before it enters your eyes, according to some research8.
- Some apps and programs for mobile phones, tablets, and computers allow you to specify a time when the device automatically switches into airplane mode, which can help enforce a schedule when you cease using electronic devices at night.
- Consider a landline if you work in healthcare, 24-hour operations, technology, or transportation and need to be available at all times. This prevents the use of screens while still allowing for easy accessibility.
Five Ways Electronics Affect Your Sleep and Health
Electronics can disrupt your sleep patterns and make you more prone to sleep deprivation by affecting both your physical and mental well-being. Mobile phones, laptops, and televisions all affect your sleep in different ways. Here are five of the most essential ways they do so.
1. Blue Light Suppresses Melatonin
Our internal circadian rhythms are well-known to be influenced by exposure to light. The blue light emitted by electronic devices such as televisions, cellphones, tablets, computers, and even LED lights is thought to be particularly crucial for sleep.
Researchers at Harvard and the University of Toronto recently discovered that light in the blue spectrum acts on our bodies by decreasing our natural melatonin production. In order to get to sleep, you have to postpone your body’s release of the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for causing sleepiness.
2. Stimulation and Stress Keep Your Mind Awake
Tablets, laptops, smart phones, and televisions can keep you awake at night by stimulating your brain and keeping you from falling asleep. Insomnia has been linked to increased usage of computers and mobile phones before night, according to a new Norwegian study.
There is more to the problem than just sleeping. Young adults claimed to being awakened up to 10% to 20% of the time per week by their phones in the NSF poll from 2011, while 26% acknowledged to texting or emailing after going to bed in the 2014 survey.
When you wake up in the middle of the night to check your phone, it can interfere with your ability to get back to sleep. It can be even more difficult to sleep if checking your work email or social media accounts causes you tension, which can make it much more difficult.
3. Regularly Missing Sleep Sets the Stage for Weight Gain
A growing body of evidence suggests that irregular sleep patterns may have an impact on weight gain and obesity, in addition to the usual suspects like diet and exercise.
According to a recent study published in the BMC Public Health journal, children who are overweight or obese sleep less than their normal-weight counterparts, and the authors attribute this to a variety of variables, including household instability, unrestricted screen time, and TVs in bedrooms.
It has been observed that young women who sleep irregularly are more likely to be obese than their counterparts who sleep on a regular schedule. According to a large-scale research of nurses, a lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of obesity in the long term.
Consistent sleep deprivation affects the body’s physical metabolism, and being awake for longer periods of time means having more opportunities to consume, both of which can lead to weight gain.
4. Delayed Sleep and Wake Lag Can Affect Health and Productivity
Teenagers in Australia were shown to be more likely to postpone their sleep/wake patterns and get up later if they used more technology (phones, laptops, and TV, but not radios).
A poll conducted by the National Science Foundation in 2014 found that youngsters who had electronic gadgets on at night in their rooms reported poor to fair sleep, but those who took them off reported wonderful sleep. There was a shorter average night’s sleep for kids whose bedrooms had devices on at least portion of the time compared to youngsters without electronics.
Lack of sleep is linked to reduced cognitive and learning abilities, impaired memory, impaired decision-making, and a wide range of health problems over time in both children and adults.
5. Associating Your Bed with Other Activities Can Make Sleep Harder
You can harm your sleep by doing non-sleep activities in bed like watching TV, playing games or working on your computer. Because the more you associate your bed with, the less likely you are to fall asleep when you’re in it.
Experts in sleep hygiene recommend limiting your use of the bed to sleeping in order to teach your mind to fall asleep more easily. Getting out of bed and doing something like reading or listening to music until you’re ready to go to sleep is the best option if you can’t get to sleep after a few minutes.
Detaching from Electronics and Sleeping Better
We’ve compiled a list of useful ideas for easing yourself or your children off of electronic devices in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Institute a digital detox in your home.
Have everyone check their smaller devices in a common spot if they need to set an off-limits time for computers, video games, tablets, and mobile phones.
Kill the TV and dim lights two hours before bed.
Begin dimming the lights and turning off the television in the last few hours before night. Better nighttime lighting can be achieved by switching out the white or yellow light bulbs in a few lamps with reddish or orange ones. Even shift workers and night owls can benefit from wearing blue light-blocking glasses, according to Harvard researchers.
Turn phones to silent at night.
Even if you can’t sleep without it, make sure everyone’s phones are on mute at night to avoid waking them up. In order to ensure that you don’t miss any important phone calls, there are apps available that will screen calls or block notifications till the next morning, allowing you to sleep uninterrupted.
Swap electronics for other relaxation activities.
Non-electronic ways to relax and unwind are available if you are concerned about being bored without your electronics at night.. Relax by reading in a dimly lit room, journaling about your day, doing yoga or meditation, or listening to your favorite music.
Tune up your sleep hygiene and bedtime routine.
Regular bed and waking times, allowing for at least seven hours of sleep every night, regular sunlight and exercise, keeping rooms cool, and limiting stimulants are all important components of healthy sleep habits. Pre-bedtime rituals can also help you wind down and prepare for slumber. After a shower, you might get your outfit ready for the next day, sip some tea, read for a while, brush your teeth, and then go to sleep.
The benefits of improved sleep and a healthier body and mind are well worth the effort of limiting computer use at night. In the morning, you’ll find all of your e-mails, games, and social networking accounts still there, ready for you.
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