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How Technology Affects Your Sleep

Updated on March 10, 2008

Sleep is a key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle: it affects your energy levels, your weight, your attitude, your mental functions, and even how your body functions. When you get enough consistent sleep, you are a healthier and happier person.

However, there are a lot of technological advances that negatively affect your sleeping patterns. I’m not against technology because it is a great thing—it has provided us with technology, music, the internet, refrigerators, and so much more. I do think people could be more aware of how their electronic gadgets can affect their overall health.

In the Beginning

Yes, I’m going there: In the beginning, people were awake when it was light out, and slept when it was dark out. Then, electricity made it possible for people to keep different hours by having lights on at night. For a lot of months during the year, we are awake earlier in the morning and later at night when it is dark outside. This alone has affected the amount of sleep we get.

It is easy to solve the problem of lights: just turn them out and you have darkness. In fact, recent studies show that it is healthier to sleep without any lights on, particularly for women. Apparently, different hormones are released in your body when you sleep with lights on than when it is dark, and this can affect your health. So, lights out!

Televisions

Whether you love them or consider them idiot boxes, the television has changed the way we live our lives. They provide sources of entertainment and information, from television shows to documentaries to news programs. The problem with televisions, however, is that they can keep you awake when you should be sleeping.

Studies have shown that people don’t get enough quality sleep when they keep television sets in their bedrooms. Falling asleep with the TV on, even if it is set on a timer to go off automatically, can affect your sleep—and, not in a positive way. At the same time, even if you don’t fall asleep with it on, you could end up staying awake longer to watch something.

People who have trouble falling or staying asleep might find it is because their bodies cannot fully rest in an environment that isn’t used for relaxation. If you do a lot of other things in your bedroom other than sleeping, like watching TV or working on your laptop, your body won’t consider this a relaxing area.

Cell Phones, Laptops, & Handheld Games

It turns out that even children and teens are having their sleep affected by technology. Instead of sleeping, kids and teens are spending more time staying awake to use their portable electronics. A recent study showed that teens sleep with their cell phones, text messaging back and forth. Even when they do sleep, they still keep their phones within the vicinity. Then, they are able to wake up the moment they receive a text.

When people bring laptops to bed, they are also conditioning their bodies to think of the bed as a place to do something other than sleep. Plus, a laptop in bed can keep you awake longer than your body wants to be.

Alarm Clocks

Most of us use alarm clocks, right? I hate waking up to a screeching BEEP BEEP BEEP sound, so I use a radio alarm. Still, if you aren’t getting enough sleep because of whatever else is going on in your life, it will be a shock to your system to wake up to a blaring noise. In fact, using alarm clocks can affect the way you feel the rest of the day.

Naturally, our bodies know when to wake up. We only need to rely on alarm clocks (most of the time) when we aren’t living a healthy lifestyle and getting enough sleep.

What Can You Do

Use technology to your advantage, but don’t let it run your life. It comes down to you making healthy choices. You have to make the decision to turn the gadgets and lights off so your body and mind can get a well-rested night of sleep.

Parents can make sure their children get fit sleep by keeping gadgets out of the bedrooms. Adults can do the same thing: keep it out of the bedroom. You might be surprised at just how great you feel, how much more energy you have, and how happy you will be after getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

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    • profile image

      Annamie Cureteyz 4 years ago

      Indeed, electro magnetic devices can definitey affect one's sleep. Actually has just have to switch off all the electro magnetic devices before going to sleep and create a very comfortable ambiance for sleep.

    • profile image

      Thabo Mashilo 5 years ago

      Hi this site is awsome i did learn more things from it

    • profile image

      skeptic 5 years ago

      Maybe I missed them but did you include any links to the television in the bedroom studies you mentioned? I keep hearing the same advice but I'm having trouble finding the actual studies.

    • profile image

      San 5 years ago

      How can we keep ourself safe from generator. Many times the generator maked beep sound continously. The engineer told; its working file. But its having some problem in ECU Monitoring unit. Our mgmt never change for long time. How can be protect ourself from that BEEP... BEEP... BEEP...

    • profile image

      san 5 years ago

      Hi,

      Nice

    • profile image

      CMG 6 years ago

      Thanks this helped a lot with my project :D and lol ya I need to improve my sleeping habits :S. Also thanks for the tips :)

    • profile image

      Bill 6 years ago

      I love all of you

    • profile image

      Dgirl 6 years ago

      Hehe. I'm reading this at 4 or 5 am on my iPod in bed. Obviously I have an issue. You're totally right about the cell phones, I've been going to sleep really late lately.

    • profile image

      Dietitians Brisbane 6 years ago

      Your article is very informative. Thanks for posting this great info and if it is possible for you to share me more about it that would be great.

    • profile image

      mami 6 years ago

      i think its a good source of info. good job i quess lol

    • profile image

      Tom 6 years ago

      I'm on my computer until I go to bed every night. I fall asleep fast, and sleep like a baby. I also smoke Marijuana before I go to bed :)

    • profile image

      dlt 6 years ago

      i am awakened at night by an inter alarm clock sound very frightening i have been taking a small dose of xanax for stress and anxiety

    • profile image

      sam 6 years ago

      hi this site is awsome

    • profile image

      map65 7 years ago

      good info and advise

    • easyguyevo profile image

      easyguyevo 7 years ago from Barbados

      Nice hub, very informative

    • profile image

      simon 7 years ago

      thank you for the information. i found this very useful

    • profile image

      Hannah Louis 7 years ago

      This is very good information, I learnt a lot from it and its just the right sort of info I needed for my science research, thanks sophie =)

    • belliott profile image

      belliott 7 years ago

      Point taken. Great advise and nice presentation on your hub. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Andy Johnston 7 years ago

      Great hub article. Some technology is good. For instance, the moshilifestyle.com alarm clock doesn't do the "beep beep beep" that this article speaks of. In fact, it uses voice recognition technology to make it easier for you to manage your time and get out of bed in the morning. Great stuff. Thanks! Andy

    • sunbunny profile image

      sunbunny 7 years ago from Canada

      Good hub, I am folloing you. Best wishes for 2010!

    • AndyBaker profile image

      AndyBaker 8 years ago from UK

      When you sleep at your deepest (1-3am) your brain emits it's own electromagnetic frequency which is part of your dreams (which keep you sane, btw).

      If you have lots of technology around they interfere with your bodies own EM frequency and can distrupt your natural sleep patterns.

      Solution: Turn off, or sleep well away from any tech that emits nasties.

    • chillingbreeze profile image

      chillingbreeze 8 years ago from India

      What you’ve said is really true! Technology really affects our helps. Thanx for sharing.............

      But today world, without technology it seems like we can not live. It is because technology equipments are really useful and helpful for us.

    • AshleyVictoria profile image

      AshleyVictoria 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      I stay up for hours on the internet. This is a great hub. I need to learn to turn the computer off - there will be time to write more and read more tomorrow.

    • profile image

      Mtkzee 8 years ago

      I CERTAINLY AGREE WITH THIS, IM A 20 YEAR OLD GUY AND I ALWAYS SLEEP AT MID NIGHT BUSY WITH MY CELLPHONE CHATTING WITH FRIENDS ON MXIT. THAT WHY I SAY TECHNOLOGY DOES AFFECT YOUR SLEEP

    • profile image

      jenny 8 years ago

      i believe that using a technology can really affects our lifestyle,it can be positive or negative.like me,i'm jenny 17 yrs. of age.instead of doing my home work,spent more time for my study,my attention will be on our television and sometimes i hate myself because of it.however,technology can help to make easier for us to do things but it will also cause a laziness...so guys we need to be aware to our limitation in using the technology.

    • profile image

      sona pillow 8 years ago

      And what about videogames? I've spent some nights up till 4 AM with a really good game! I end up tired the rest of the week but some games are really addictive!Ipod is also too good to leave in the drawer so I end up listening to the music in bed... and then I fall asleep! Listening to loud music while asleep must somehow affect the way you rest so, not good either.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      I'm guilty of the laptop in bed. Only because it is so easy to do. But I'm finding that I just can't sleep. I've removed the TV from the bedroom. I'm going to have to take out the laptop, too. :(

    • profile image

      easywaytoincome 8 years ago

      Teenagers who excessively use their cell phone are more prone to disrupted sleep, restlessness, stress and fatigue young people with excessive use of cell phones (both talking and text messaging) have increased restlessness with more careless lifestyles, more consumption of stimulating beverages, difficulty in falling asleep and disrupted sleep, and more susceptibility to stress and fatigue. They behave more like larks than owls, suggesting a delayed biological clock. Addiction to cell phone is becoming common. Youngsters feel a group pressure to remain inter-connected and reachable round the clock. Children start to use mobile phones at an early stage of their life, for more information's visit http://www.easywaytoincome.com/

    • profile image

      maya 8 years ago

      Also read somewhere that electronics have electromagenetic fields that intefere with our own which cause certain energy imbalance within our body

    • craigan profile image

      craigan 9 years ago from United States

      Excellent information!

    • Shadrack profile image

      Shadrack 9 years ago

      Wow, this is so true, everyday I sleep at around 23:00hrs if not midnight because of the laptop(internet) ,my wife works nightshift as she is a nurse but I tell you even if she is off I am so used to sleeping late.Please keep writing as you have very valuable points

    • Kat07 profile image

      Kat07 9 years ago from Tampa

      Have you tried those alarm clocks that use light and sound to both help you to sleep and ease your waking? I have one, it's pretty nifty. What I find, though, is that daylight savings messes me up more than anything. Last week when I got up it was light outside so it was easier to get up - now it's dark - Ack.

    • best of the web profile image

      best of the web 9 years ago from US

      Good one.

      Thanks for sharing

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Last year we spent 6 months predominatlely camping in a tent - mainly above the tropic of capricorn so basically it as dark at 6 and light at 6. Although we had a laptop, lights and books we found that our body clocks changed radically. I have always been able to sleep 10 hours a night but my partner usually does more like 6 - we both ended up sleeping 10 hours straight

    • Vishal P. Rao profile image

      Vishal P. Rao 9 years ago

      Nice Hub!

      Another important thing I would like to add is that we have drastically reduced our exposure to natural light. Not all lights are same. Exposing ourselves to natural light brings about a lot of chemical changes in our system which is essential for optimum functioning of our body and mind.

      And not to mention the electro magnetic radiations being exposed through televisions, computers and various gadgets.

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 9 years ago from United States

      LOL my dog sleeps later than I do so I don't have a problem with him waking me up! He seems to get p.o'ed when I get up!

      This dollhouse was my first attemp and I was so TOTALLY unprepared for the task ahead of me LOL. But when I look back now, I have no regrets and she still raves about it every time we talk! Hope you enjoy the hub!

      Bonnie

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image
      Author

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      Bonnie - my living alarm clock consists of two hungry cats! I can't wait to read your hub about dollhouses. I had one as a child that my grandparents made for me, and I loved it.

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 9 years ago from United States

      Great hub, Stacie! I certainly agree with all this. That's why I don't allow t.v. and other things in my bedroom. Due to family illness and the nature of hubby's job, I do allow the cells. But they rarely ring unless he is called in or there is a family emergency.

      I also need to add another technology to this list of sleep hinders. HUB PAGES! Uhhuh, I said it! Last night I could not get to sleep because the minute I laid my head on the pillow, I started thinking of a hub! LOL. I finally gave up at 2:30 a.m. and sat at the computer creating "The Making of a Dollhouse". At 3:30, I tried again and after about an hour of trying to block my mind from thinking of a new hub, I drifted off. Around 7 a.m. my "living" alarm clock in my office began to screech. This would be my cockatiel, who gets very angry if I am not in here by daylight LOL.

      So, here I am again in HP just reading and typing away! You gotta love 'em!

      Bonnie