Can you relate to that feeling where whatever you do, you can’t get that sweet sleep?
Well yeah, it does happen.
- Can’t get off of your cell phone? Oh, can’t sleep
- Need to buy groceries? Goodbye sleep
- Time to do homework? Oh, can’t sleep
- Have classes? Oh, can’t sleep (except you just do anyways)
It’s no wonder that a good sleep schedule is one of the most desirable treasures of college students. This is because lack of sleep has lots of negative side effects that many of us know too well. Some decide to suffer for a good reason while for most other people, it’s simply another way of life.
Basically, there are numerous reasons why sleep is such a significant issue in the society today, but as it is, digital technology appears to be the rising culprit behind all of it. It is very convenient and simplifies lots of the work we do to the extent where you are mad for not using it. But, alas, everything good comes with an equally bad side.
So why exactly does your sleep suck?
1. Blue Light
In recent time, blue light has become quite popular. You might have heard from your mom or a friend that you should always put on a yellow sunglasses when looking at the computer. So, what is this blue light all about? Well… it’s simply a blue colored light. A recent study by Harvard shows that “while every kind of light messes up with our biological clocks, blue light at night has proven to be potent.”
Blue light minimizes the production of melatonin which your grandparents may usually take before going to bed on a daily basis as it helps people fall asleep. Cell phone screens, TV screens, and computer screens all emit a little blue light and looking at those screens immediately before going to bed is not the ideal way to help you get a good sleep at night.
Furthermore, many computers and phones have the night-mode setting where the screen slightly turns yellow to lessen the amount of blue light it produces. Doing this and simply reducing use before going to bed could help your melatonin levels and also get quicker sleep onset.
NOTE: Being on the higher energy side of the visible electromagnetic spectrum, and too much exposure to the blue light might eventually damage your eyes over time than red light that has less energy.
2. Artificial Light
Now that you’re beginning to think of blue light, let’s quickly educate you on light in general. It might interest you to know what every single lamp and light bulb in your home is ideally tricking your brain to think that it’s the middle of the day, regardless of what the outside appears like. Have you ever wondered why we often turn off the lights once we want to sleep? It’s not only because we hate to waste energy; but because the darkness makes us feel so exhausted which makes it easier to relax and sleep peacefully.
That being said, the overhead lights is not the one that is always at fault – the tiny artificial lights that come from our computers and phones, notwithstanding that it’s not used for illuminating a room, does confuse the brain and disturb sleeping habits. That way, the brain becomes exhausted and overlabored, and instead of using sleep to feel well-rested, your body and brain are continuously playing catch up.
BOTTOM LINE: Any kind of artificial light which is used past sunset could possibly contributing in your poor sleep habit, but apparently, it’s ridiculous to ask a person not to use lights in this 21st century. Regardless of the fact that we can’t do without them, reducing your use of artificial lights by waking and sleeping earlier than you used to might be a good idea so as to make the most of the sun.