Every evening I have virtually the same bedtime routine. After finishing homework and studying, I throw on some pajamas, brush my teeth and lay down with my laptop.
Nearly everynight before bed you can find me skyping with a friend, in addition to stumblingupon different sites with Firefox, checking my email one (or two or three) last times, and making sure I did not miss any “important” Facebook notifications before turning of the light for bed time. In other words, I, like many others, end my day with technology, only to wake up groggy and muddled. I then find myself running to the coffee machine in order to keep myself awake for the coming lengthy day.
I make sure to get eight hours of sleep each night and am on a fairly regular schedule. I do not toss and turn or wake up frequently. Yet each day I find myself stumbling through my mornign in a zombified state, longing for afternoon nap time.
Why does this keep happening?
Well, new studies by the National Sleep Foundation, described in the article Bedtime Electronics Ruining your Sleep from gizmodo.com show that using an electronic device within an hour of going to bed can lead to suppressed sleep hormones, interrupted drowsing and fatigue.
And I am not alone. Apparently 95% of Americans use technology, whether computer, television, laptop, ipod, video game or other, before bed.
Unfortunately, being aware of the issue does not necessarily fix anything. I, along with many other Americans, consider electronics a part of the routine, and eliminating them is not an appealing option.
Researchers have found, however, that by shutting off technology and reading a book for 20-30 minutes before falling asleep helps significantly.
Too bad I read on my Kindle….
I may never sleep soundly again.