Snoozing with electronics nearby disrupts sleep

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

bright keys
Not only can glowing gadgets trick your eyes into thinking it’s daytime, they even give off subtle vibrations that mess with your body’s sleep.

Since our generation was born into a world of state-of-the-art electronics, it’s hard to stay away from video games, smartphones, tablets, and laptops late at night. And why wouldn’t it be? Any one of these gadgets provides access to best friends, most-adored celebrities, movies, funny memes, gossip, books, and a thousand other distractions. Current research, however, warns that having gadgets in your bedroom can contribute to poor quality sleep, even if you don’t use them!

For one, the light they shine messes with our natural circadian rhythm – an internal clock aligned with day and night to govern sleeping patterns. This biological timekeeper uses daylight as a sign to keep the body energized and alert. Well, the light from these screens has similar properties to daylight, so when they’re right up against our faces at night, our bodies think it’s time to get up! This translates to difficulty falling asleep long after we’ve put down the gadgets for the night. Even the distant brightness of a digital clock can go through your closed eyelids and impact sleep.

Apparently, even if you cover those glowing gizmos up with a t-shirt, it may not be enough. One study found that if your tech is not on airplane mode (disconnected from all wireless communication), the low levels of radiation from signal connections can make you toss and turn. When people are exposed to these signals for 3 hours before going to sleep, they often have trouble dozing off. Although researchers are still trying to figure out the exact science behind this strange sensitivity our bodies have to wireless vibes, it’s reason enough to keep your gadgets in the living room and away from your bed.

Since about 95% of Americans use some form of electronics within one hour of going to bed, it’s no wonder sleep loss is becoming a public health danger.

Image of keyboard courtesy of Remko van Dokkum on Flickr. Featured image courtesy of Johan Larsson on Flickr.