Would you rather have a book or a screen in front of you before you go to sleep? I hope you say a book because a recent US study suggests texting and web surfing within 2 hours of your bedtime will increase your stress. It seems that is the norm these days to be in front of an electronic screen before sleeping. We are either watching TV, surfing the net, emailing, playing video games or doing stuff with our phone.
Well, if you want to turn down your stress levels, you might want to pay attention to this new study reported in LiveScience on 29th May. It involved 500 people from the ages 18-73. They were asked to fill out an online survey which was advertised on social media sites. It was found that stress levels were higher in those people who used technology before going to sleep. However, not all kinds of technology had that effect. E-mailing and watching TV did not raise the stress levels.
This same group of researchers had another study that looked at the link between insomnia and texting, web surfing and emailing before bedtime. Those who were engaged in those activities were more likely to experience insomnia. So if you think about it, these technological activities may be raising stress levels because people are not getting adequate sleep. Therefore, we cannot say that using technology before bed causes stress. They are somehow associated with each other but it is not a causal relationship.
Talking about loss of sleep, the journal Nature recently published a different study about night-time exposure to LED rays we get from computer screens, TVs, tablets and smartphones. They highlighted how that the light emitted from these electronic gadgets can lead to sleep loss because it disrupts our body’s sleep-wake cycle. The blue light is said to suppress melatonin, the hormone we need to have a good night’s sleep.
So, you may want to think of a better activity that will help you wind down for the day. Reading and exercise are highly recommended. Try to stay away from technology and see if it makes a difference to your stress levels. If you have children who like to text before they sleep, you may want to consider a rule of no phones in the bedroom. They may actually wake up less cranky in the morning.