We are so hyper connected as a society that digital devices are a bit like the air we breathe. When you have a moment, do you check your smart phone so you don’t “waste” it? Is there a glowing screen at your breakfast or dinner table? Many people sleep with a smart phone next to their bed. A recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that using a light-emitting electronic device before bed negatively affects sleep quality and circadian rhythms.
And a recent Pediatrics study found that distraction by digital devices is negatively impacting kids sleep. In the study, 57 percent of children said they slept with a tablet, smartphone or other digital screen in or next to their bed, and those children reported getting 20.6 fewer minutes of sleep each night compared to children without devices in their bedrooms. That’s 125 hours less sleep a year!
A quiet dark room is essential to good sleep so turn off that phone! And consider unplugging for just a day. The sixth annual National Day of Unplugging starts at sundown tomorrow – Friday, March 6 – and runs until sundown Saturday, March 7. If you’re one to take a digital device to bed, you might just get better sleep without it. And that’s a good thing since we lose an hour Sunday with Daylight Savings Time, which begins at 2 a.m.
P.S.: Don’t forget to set your clock back before you go to sleep Saturday night!