Tech Talk: Is your smart phone ruining your sleep?

The light of your smart phone could be affecting the way you sleep at night.
The light of your smart phone could be affecting the way you sleep at night.

Are smart phones good for us at night? Science tells us that light is something that points our body clock toward and away from sleep, this is nothing new.

Very few people are hitting the hay as the sun drops over the horizon.

Having said that our habits do continue to change around how much and what kind of light we are absorbing.

A typical evening routine for adults 20 years ago was likely made up of dinner, television and maybe a book to read in bed.

A far more common picture these days is the replacement of that book with our smart phones.

Whilst we could argue the content on the smart phone may not be the same quality as the book, the issue here is the device itself.

Smart phone light no good for sleep

Much of the light that is emitted from these devices is blue light.

During the day time this light has benefits such as helping us focus our attention and reaction times.

During the night however, those benefits quickly turn into negatives that can throw off our body clocks.

To shed some light on why this can be a problem, a plethora of scientific institutes and universities have studied this topic in recent years.

Simply put the blue light impacts our “circadian rhythm” and “melatonin secretion” (yes I had to google that one as well).

This essentially ties our use of devices before bed to having trouble sleeping. So what can be done?

One thing is to stop using devices before bed – easier said than done unfortunately.

Whether it is the simple endless Facebook scroll, checking those last few emails or even legitimately reading a book which is more and more commonly on your device rather than paper.

It can be done but it is tricky.

Finally most devices now have a “night mode” which will cut down on the blue light and make it easier on the eyes.

This is a great option as even though blue light is the worst; all light can contribute to poor sleep.

Depending on your devices this setting is normally located in screen settings.

Again a quick google of “device name” and “night mode” should do the trick.