Reflection, relaxation, and a deep, meaningful sleep are ours to behold, but we can’t seem to set aside our phones, games, and internet. Late at night, we scroll for more information and fall asleep to the sound of movies and games. Always connected, always stimulated, we are addicted to wireless technology and this addiction is the greatest impediment to a good, restful night’s sleep.
Because we can’t stop streaming and scrolling through our wireless devices, we hold ourselves back from deep sleep and therefore weaken our ability to rest and heal. Over time, late-night Smartphone use causes sleep disorders and increased risk of serious health problems. (Related: Why you must reset your circadian clock to live a healthier, happier life.)
Millions of people are suffering from sleep disorders in our modern hyper-connected world. The CDC finds that one third of U.S. adults are not getting adequate sleep. Hooked on sleeping pills and still searching for answers, millions of Americans are slow to rise and groggy throughout the day - with low energy, a forgetful mind, and a weak, compromised immune system.
Preventing disease begins with deep, restful sleep; however, not many people put their phone away at night. In fact, surveys find that nine out of ten people admit to using electronics within one hour of bedtime. The artificial light coming from these devices is not only hard on the eyes but it can also interrupt a person’s natural sleep cycles. The blue light emitted from these LED lights is the most disruptive.
The brain perceives the artificial light as daylight and prepares the rest of the body’s biological rhythms for the upcoming day. Even though you want to sleep, your biological processes have been slowly trained to keep you up at night. The influx of information coming from the devices also stimulates the mind, exciting thoughts and ideas that should be saved for the next day. Lying in bed with a racing mind, many people suffer from insomnia because they just won’t shut off their devices and let their mind rest. When sleep cycles are disrupted, melatonin production falls, too, adversely affecting mood throughout the next day. Over time, low melatonin levels cause further difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep.
Staying up late and trying to adapt to distorted biological rhythms, a person will begin to experience daytime fatigue, weight gain, adrenal fatigue, and even heart problems. As melatonin production falls, a person is at greater risk of cancer and infectious disease because their immune system is not permitted to achieve a state of recovery. As sleep quality falls, people become prone to depression and can put other people at risk on the roadways because of lack of awareness and alertness.
The first step toward a good night’s sleep is to disconnect from all wireless devices, screens, EMF exposures, and artificial lights two hours before bedtime. This will prepare the body’s biological rhythms for a more restful state and allow the mind to enter a state of calm. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you should shut off your wireless routers every night to stop the influx of wireless radiation, blinking lights, and the temptation to connect. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for sleep, a dark place of relaxation. All televisions, computers, phones and their chargers should be kept out of sight, out of mind.
Strive for deep REM sleep, dream recall, personal reflection, and an understanding of self. The realization of these will bring about great personal happiness and emotional well being that cannot be measured.