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Sleepless Nights, Endless Days: Technology and Life Balance

April 27, 2011

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut/ FreeDigitalImages.net

A recent study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation has discovered that almost 95% of people questioned use an electronic device before bed. More surprisingly, around two thirds of those individuals admitted that they do not get enough sleep (Patricia Reaney, Not Getting Enough Sleep? Turn Off the Technology, Reuteurs.com. March 7, 2011). This poses an obvious question. If the connection to the office is an arm reach away, how can anyone possibly unplug from work and focus on falling asleep? In many cases the inability to unplug is causing sleep deprivation.

Follow these simple and effective tips so you can get a better night’s sleep.

Go to bed at the same time every night

Keeping a regular sleep schedule trains your body to know when you’re no longer working at a high energy level.  Choose a bedtime when you normally feel tired or play around with the times until you find the right fit for you (Melinda Smith, Joanna Saisan, Robert Segal, How to Sleep Better Tip 1: Keep a regular sleep schedule, Helpguide.org. January 2011).

Keep your technology out of the bedroom

Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School articulates that “exposure to artificial light before going to bed can increase alertness and supress the release of melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone.” Your bedroom should be a technology free zone- that means no laptops, smartphones or televisions. Use the hours before bed to relax as opposed to using your electronics. Try reading a book or drinking some caffeine-free tea to wind down (Patricia Reaney, Not Getting Enough Sleep? Turn Off the Technology, Reuteurs.com. March 7, 2011).

Turn OFF your phone at least one hour before bed

The National Sleep Foundation has discovered that the use of interactive gadgets- like cellphones- is actually more detrimental to one’s sleep than the more passive ones- like our televisions. The solution is simple- learn to use the off button! Try turning off your phone at least one hour before you go to bed so you can avoid any unwanted surprises (Ban Patterson, Can’t sleep? Turn off cell phones, game consoles after sundown, survey say, news.yahoo.com. March 7, 2011). 

Looking for more Tips and Tricks? Try these great books:

              

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