Sleep Health and Wellness

Sleep is essential to good health. Rest is essential to being well. Find a way to get both with these resources.

Put Your Technology To Bed

Is your bedroom a relaxing retreat or high-tech habitat?

How many gadgets do you have in your bedroom? Now count how many you actually have.

From mobile phones and tablets to televisions, sky boxes and laptops, electrical devices are a huge part of our daily lives and it’s often hard to give them a rest – even at bedtime.

Many of us are guilty of surfing the web, playing a game or watching just one last episode of our favourite boxset when we really should be hitting the hay…

In fact, a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 95% of people use some type of technology at least a few nights a week with the same percentage of millennials sleeping with their phones right next to their beds.

So, why is technology so bad at night? In short, the light from computers and phones can delay the release of melatonin – the chemical our brain releases to lull us off to sleep – leaving us feeling charged well past bedtime.

It might seem harmless to keep your phone on your bedside table if you are strong enough to leave it alone as you drift off to sleep. However, the late night chimes and vibrations from texts, emails, calls and calendar reminders are disturbing – and the average user will then reach out to check their phone at 7:31am.

Televisions and video games aren’t much better as they often increase the heart rate leaving us all revved-up affecting the quality of REM sleep.

The best thing to do is to resist temptation and remove all non-essential devices from the bedroom – or set a time limit for when you’re ready to settle down. If you don’t feel like going to sleep straight away, try reading a book – they’re proven to help you drift off.

However – all bedside technology isn’t bad – in fact, some gadgets may even leave you with a spring in your step the next day!

One – Lumie – is perfect for couples who share a bed but need to wake up at different times. This little gadget could be a life – and relationship – saver as it wakes you up gently and individually with a light focused on one person so as not to wake the other.

Another techie tool is the Sleep Cycle app, which tracks your sleep patterns and promises to wake you up during the lightest sleep phase so you wake up naturally rested.

The futuristic device, Sense, on the other hand, is the first system for understanding your sleep and bedroom by monitoring your environment and sleeping patterns to help you improve both.

So, the key is to choose your bedside technology carefully – sweet dreams.