About 35 percent of adults, 25 percent of children, and up to 72 percent of high school students are affected by insufficient sleep. There are numerous things that might interfere with a person’s ability to sleep, but technology in the bedroom is becoming an increasing problem for all ages.
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The National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep in America Poll found that 95 percent of adults admitted to using some form of electronic device within an hour of bedtime on an ongoing basis. Cell phones, tablets, and e-readers have made this problem even worse. Around 75% of youngsters and 70% of adults, according to recent surveys, use electronic gadgets in their bedrooms or while sleeping.
The quality and amount of your sleep can be harmed if you use electronic gadgets late at night. Experts say that removing gadgets from the bedroom can help you sleep better.
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.
Studies on this topic keep popping up on a regular basis. People who watch a lot of television before going to sleep are less likely to get a good night’s rest. Many people are unable to resist the allure of a computer screen, according to new research. Artificial light exposure in the hours leading up to bedtime can make it more difficult to fall and stay asleep.
2. More Conversation.
When you’re married, you’ll have some of the most crucial and private conversations in your bedroom at night… Unless, of course, you have your laptop on your lap.
3. More Conscious Reflection.
The evening is a great time to reflect on your day and gather your thoughts. This analysis helps us to evolve as people by allowing us to better learn from our mistakes. Because of its greater importance, it is a foolish trade to give it up for the sake of enjoyment.
4. More/Better sex.
Couples who have a television in their bedroom have sex only half as often as those who don’t have one. And better, more enjoyable sex is a result of couples choosing to engage in emotional communication with one another. Playing Angry Birds in the bedroom isn’t the only way to keep yourself entertained.
5. More Reading.
Many people find that doing a little reading before bed helps them sleep better. When it comes to sleep, reading is a better option than mindless technology use, even when it doesn’t. Your bedroom should be free of electronic devices like televisions, computers, tablets, and smartphones so that you may spend more time reading.
6. More Mindfulness in the Morning.
Many people have already discussed the benefits of not checking your email first thing in the morning. The same rationale may be used to argue against checking Facebook/Twitter before putting your feet up on the floor.
7. More Relationship within Family.
Removing electronic devices from the bedroom encourages social connection at any age. On the contrary, I’m a regular user of technology in my own home. As a result, rather than scurrying off to our own rooms to do our homework or browse the Internet, we prefer to retain technology in the living areas of our houses. It also helps us keep tabs on our children’s online activities.
8. Less Sleep-Texting.
The fact that more and more people are sending intimate and embarrassing texts while they are asleep should cause us to reevaluate the lifestyles we have adopted.
9. Less Accessibility.
Most of us don’t need to be constantly available to others. 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. Nonessential information fills our minds. Keeping your bedroom a no-notification zone promotes a more tranquil, engaging, and relaxing atmosphere for you and your partner. And it gives our minds a break from the day’s events.
10. Less of the Emotions Attached to Social Media.
The results of these investigations are not encouraging. People who spend a lot of time on social media are more likely to be envious, lonely, frustrated, and angry. Interaction on social media can be beneficial in some cases. However, if we can keep these bad emotions out of our bedrooms voluntarily, I’ll support that.
11. Rooms serve purposes.
Kitchens, dining rooms, and offices all have a specific function: to cook, to eat, or to work. It’s easier to get things done when we know exactly what those rooms are used for. 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 our society. A usual response to embracing it is to list all the reasons why it is impossible for one’s mind to reconcile with that response.
- “My phone is my alarm clock.”
- “I need to check the weather in the morning.”
- “I read on my Ipad in bed.”
- “I have to watch my TV or I can’t fall asleep.”
Even so, the benefits of a technology-free bedroom should not be underestimated or discarded so readily. 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?
Since modern society has become so reliant on technology, the challenge of creating device-free spaces may seem impossible. However, there are a few basic procedures that can make this process easier and help you adapt to a new bedroom environment that is more favorable to sleep.
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. There are a lot of other uses for a bedroom in today’s WiFi-enabled world, including sleep and intimacy. Everything we do outside of slumbering is done here, from reading to working to watching TV to going online. For this reason, we’ve collected various innovations that aim to maximize our sense of well-being while still allowing us to maintain our constant connection with the outside world.
1. The Frame by Samsung
A television in the room is a necessity, so why not make it as unobtrusive as possible with this 4K UHD display? 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, it’s fairly uncommon for passengers to don active 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. Soft ear cups envelop the wearer in music with long-lasting comfort in the Kokoon.
3. Philips Hue Lighting System
Most of our old CFL, halogen, and incandescent light bulbs were handed down to us when we moved into our house, so I spent a lot of money on Hue items to replace them. 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. In contrast, LeGrand’s WiFi-enabled outlet eliminates the need for an unsightly add-on piece of hardware in the bedroom by seamlessly integrating connectivity with a sleek and modern two-plug outlet design. 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. Blueair’s designers took note of the Blue series’ vast physical dimensions and furnished it with a variety of colorful cloth pre-filters for a practical and fashionable personality that makes its design as clean as its filtering..
6. The Lineal Adjustable Base
Lineal appears to be a beautifully modern bed frame, made expressly to support Saatva’s thin 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. The wireless remote control of the Lineal is a premium enhancement that provides customised comfort and convenience at the press of a button. The Lineal’s features include adjustable placement, under-bed lighting, a 3-speed full body massage, and customisable pre-sets for lifting/lowering the legs and torso portions separately.
7. Sonte Smart Film Digital Shade
Using Sonte’s digital shade, you can instantly transform your home or business into a privacy-enhancing opaque or transparent environment. It’s a great primary privacy screen when paired with light-blocking shades or drapes when it’s time to sleep, thanks to an electric current that converts the window application non-transparent film.
8. Google Home
We’re more likely to get stuck in a “don’t want to move” trance in the bedroom. This is where a voice-activated digital assistant like Google Home (or Amazon Echo) comes in handy, since they can answer inquiries about the current weather, plans for the future, and what to watch on TV tonight. You won’t even have to roll over to reach for a light switch if you use the above-mentioned 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. In contrast to the old-fashioned elbow-to-the-gut method of muting an audible snoring, the ZEEQ emits a gentle vibration to persuade the user to change positions. Bluetooth-enabled speakers are also included into the pillow’s foam cocoon, with the accompanying app filled with relaxing tunes and binaural beats to help you fall asleep faster. In the future, this could be a popular present for married couples.
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. Sound blankets — a collection of 15 ambient audio tracks – are emitted by two plug-in units working together. 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
Remove your electronics from the bedroom to create a technology-free sleep environment. As daunting as it may seem, following recommendations might help you adapt and make the most of your adjustment.
- Create a dedicated space for electronics: Keep all of your electronic devices out of your bedroom at night. Chargers can be stored here overnight, ensuring that all of your electronic devices are ready to go when you wake up the next day.
- Develop a new bedtime routine: Creating a new nighttime ritual that doesn’t include watching television or checking your email can help children and adults develop good habits. As an alternative, take steps that are both practical and pleasant, such as putting on your jammies and reading in dark light.
- Set consistent “screens off” and “lights out” times: Have a set time for shutting down your electronic devices and turning off the lights before you go to sleep. It’s impossible to stay up late checking one more email or watching one more episode if you set a strict “screens off” time for yourself each night. You’ll get used to not having access to screens for a specific amount of time, which will help you maintain a regular sleep routine as well.
- Keep something to read nearby: A fantastic method to rediscover the pleasure of reading a book or magazine on paper is to cut back on your nightly screen time. Your nightstand should be filled with stuff you enjoy reading, so that you don’t get FOMO (fear of missing out) when you’re not using your technological devices.
- Don’t work in bed: In terms of quality, the ideal mattress should be used exclusively for sex and rest. Your brain associates bedtime with these activities, reducing the desire to bring electronics into bed.
- Use a basic alarm clock: An old-fashioned alarm clock would suffice if you choose to set your phone as your wake-up call. To keep your bedroom dark, most alarm clocks include a low brightness setting.
- Consider a white noise machine: A white noise machine can be used in the same way as a phone to play calming noises at night, but without putting email and messages at your fingertips.
- Learn relaxation techniques: Using relaxation techniques like deep breathing or mindfulness meditation can put you in a better state of mind to fall asleep when you’re away from your phone.
- Set boundaries with friends, family, and work: It’s a common misconception that you must have your phone by your bedside at all times in case you receive an urgent notification. You’re continuously at risk of disrupted sleep because of this apparent need to be connected at all times. Tell your loved ones and coworkers that you won’t be available late at night or early in the morning to avoid the “always-on” mentality. It’s possible to enjoy a technology-free bedroom without having to worry about missed calls, texts, or emails.
- Reward yourself: Rewarding yourself for reaching milestones such as a week, month, or year of a device-free sleep environment can help make the act of removing technology from your bedroom less of a punishment.
In some cases, you may not need to follow all of the instructions outlined below. 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
Taking an inventory of your gadgets may lead you to the conclusion that you are unable to exclude all technology from your bedroom entirely. You may want to follow these suggestions to reduce the negative effects of technological devices on your sleep:
- Pare down the number of devices in your bedroom: Even if you can’t get all of your devices out of your bedroom, try to keep as many of them out as possible.
- Avoid using them for an hour before bedtime: As long as you don’t force yourself to use it, having technology in your bedroom is fine. Before you go to sleep, try to limit your use of electronic devices for at least one hour.
- Put devices in a drawer: Keeping a phone or tablet out of sight will help keep you from checking it when you’re trying to relax or sleep.
- Silence notifications: In order to avoid being distracted by persistent vibrations or flashing lights, put your mobile devices into airplane mode and turn off notifications.
- Resist the urge to check devices when you wake up at night: Avoid checking your phone if you wake up in the night, even if it’s just to see the time. 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.
- Turn down the brightness: Turning down your screen’s brightness to the lowest setting may lessen the impact of electronic light on your sleep.
- Use a night mode: The amount of blue light emitted by many gadgets can be reduced by switching to a night mode. This feature may lessen the impact of the gadget on your melatonin synthesis and circadian rhythm.
- Try blue light glasses: Some study suggests that blue light can be reduced by wearing special glasses that filter out blue light before it enters your eyes.
- Automatically disconnect using specialized apps: It’s possible to set a time for your mobile phone, tablet, or computer to go into airplane mode, which can help you stick to a nighttime electronics-free routine.
- Go old school: A landline might be a good idea for people who are constantly “on-call,” such as those in the healthcare, 24-hour operations, technology, or transportation industries. This prevents the use of screens while still allowing for easy accessibility.
Five Ways Electronics Affect Your Sleep and Health
Sleep deprivation can be caused by electronic devices that impair your physical and mental health. Electronic devices, such as smartphones, computers, and television, have a significant impact on your sleep.
1. Blue Light Suppresses Melatonin
Light has long been recognized as an important factor in regulating our internal circadian rhythms. To help you sleep, blue light from electronic devices such as televisions, smartphones, tablets, computers and LED lights is thought to be particularly useful.
Light in the blue spectrum has been discovered to reduce our bodies’ natural melatonin, according to Harvard and University of Toronto experts. Delaying the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin increases the amount of time you spend awake and makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
2. Stimulation and Stress Keep Your Mind Awake
Tablets, laptops, smartphones, and televisions that keep you active and engaged keep your mind active and keep you from sleeping. Insomnia has been linked to computer and mobile phone use in a recent Norwegian study.
It’s not just getting to sleep that’s proving difficult. According to the 2011 NSF study, 10% to 20% of younger adults claimed to waking up numerous times a week owing to phone interruptions, while 26% of those polled acknowledged to texting or emailing after they had gone to sleep.
Getting up in the middle of the night to check your phone might disrupt deep sleep and make it more difficult to get back to sleep. And if you’re already having trouble sleeping because of your work emails or social media accounts, it’s only going to get worse.
3. Regularly Missing Sleep Sets the Stage for Weight Gain
Several factors influence body weight and obesity, but new research suggests that poor sleep may play a role.
According to a recent childhood study in the BMC Public Health journal, overweight children slept less than their normal weight peers, which was associated to unsupervised screen usage and televisions in the bedrooms.
According to a study conducted by Brigham Young University, women who have irregular sleep patterns are more likely than their regular counterparts to have a higher body mass index score. In addition, a big study of nurses found that, over time, getting too little sleep increased the likelihood of becoming obese.
Chronic sleep deprivation is thought to affect the body’s metabolism, which in turn can lead to weight gain, as well as more time spent awake.
4. Delayed Sleep and Wake Lag Can Affect Health and Productivity
Young people in Australia who used more technology (such as cell phones, computers, and TVs but not radios) reported sleeping later and waking up later, according to a study.
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 correlation between the amount of time children spent sleeping and the amount of time they spent using technology.
Inadequate sleep is linked to a variety of long-term health concerns in children, teens, and adults alike, including decreased cognition and learning, memory loss, difficulty making sound decisions, and daytime exhaustion.
5. Associating Your Bed with Other Activities Can Make Sleep Harder
People who watch television, play video games, work or study while in bed can disrupt their sleep. Actually, the less your brain thinks about sleep, the more things it links a person’s bed with.
Experts in the field of sleep hygiene recommend reserving your bed for rest only as a way to improve your quality of sleep. 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
In the hours leading up to bedtime, there are a few things you can do to help you or your children avoid using electronic devices.
Institute a digital detox in your home.
In the event that anyone needs to check their phone or tablet within the designated period, have them do so in a central spot.
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. The reddish or orange-toned bulbs in a few lamps could be swapped for brighter bulbs for greater nighttime illumination. Shift workers and night owls may benefit from blue light-blocking eyewear, according to a recent study out of Harvard.
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. It is possible to block certain notifications till the following morning if you are concerned about missing an emergency phone call while you sleep.
Swap electronics for other relaxation activities.
Many relaxing and non-electronic activities might help you wind down if you’re afraid about being bored at night without your electronics. 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.
It is important to maintain regular bed and wake times, allow at least seven hours of sleep per night, have regular exposure to sunlight throughout the day, keep the room cool, and restrict the use of stimulants. Pre-bedtime rituals can also help you wind down and get ready for bed. 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.
In the long run, the benefits of improved sleep and a healthier body and mind outweigh the inconvenience of cutting less on devices at night. In the morning, you’ll still have access to all of your e-mails, games, and social networking profiles.