New studies have proved that using smartphones or any technological devices an hour before sleeping may have an adverse effect on sleep. It can be both physiologically and psychologically harmful for children as well as for adults.
The British researchers have examined around 6,616 children who were averagely 12 years old. These children were said to use a mobile phone, computer, television, tablet, and other entertaining electronic devices.
The study was published in Enviroment International. This study was done to determine children bedtimes and to understand their sleeping behavior. The researchers have noted down how long their sleep lasted and how long it took them to fall asleep.
According to the research, the use of smartphones, laptops, TVs or any other electronic devices before hitting the bed delays our circadian rhythm (body’s internal clock). It can subdue the release of melatonin(a sleep-inducing hormone), that makes it difficult to fall asleep. An artificial blue-light emitted from all the electronic devices are the biggest reason to have a poor quality of sleep at night.
The more usage of such devices at night, the harder it is to fall asleep or stay asleep. The perpetual use of electronic devices every night post-sleep can also adversely affect our REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Which is responsible for storing memories, learning, and balancing your mood.
Michael O. Mireku, a lecturer at the University of Lincoln said, “These findings need to be confirmed in future studies, parents should just be aware of this possible association.”
According to the researchers, children who used mobile phones and televisions at nights have 60 percent higher rates of waking up late and they have scored lower on quality-of-life tests. According to the study, usage of the screen in the dark does more harm to REM sleep than using it with the lights on. With time, these effects can cause a chronic deficiency in sleep.
According to the researchers, one should stop using smartphones or other electronic gadgets at least 30 mins prior to sleep. Even though, the earlier in the evening the better it will be.
Researchers have emphasized on reading a book, be it a Kindle Paperwhite or printed copy, under the lamp as the source of entertainment that would not be harmful to the brain or even to your eyes.