Let your life continue to beep and flash throughout the night and you won’t miss a thing – except for a good sleep!
Customising my smartphone was one of the unhealthiest things I ever did. Sure, it was a buzz choosing theme songs to play when each friend or family member called – but I went too far. My beloved, my everything, robbed me of my sleep.
Not only did it turn into the world’s worst mobile jukebox (think ’80s Prince mashed with that song from Frozen), but also every text, tweet, email, LinkedIn, WordPress, Instagram and Facebook notification was assigned its own unique sound. I could differentiate the nuances of a Re-tweet from a Favourite!
During the day, the onslaught wasn’t an issue. But, it was during the post homework-dinner-bath-bed “me” time that led to fitful sleep, exhausted mornings and shattered days.
It was my private joy – the house finally quiet, snuggling into bed to catch up on TV, Skype my bestie in Wales, check Facebook statuses and load up the perfect #selfie. Hours would tick by as I juggled chats while watching YouTube clips of Soul Train.
My husband would come to bed and tsk-tsk as I implored him for five more minutes to conquer level 76 on Candy Crush. Eventually he’d give up and with one final humph exclaim he’d lost his wife to an electronic device.
My electronics were always on “in case of emergency”. I’d lie in bed, willing myself to sleep – counting how many hours remained before the alarm would blare. I was over-stimulated: the light, the sounds, the constant need to know everything about everyone right now! I had the ultimate FoMo (Fear Of Missing Out) addiction!
The witching hour would come and go as the household rhythmically breathed in that lullaby state. Except for me. The excitement of getting 17 likes was replaced with gripping anxiety – and finally exhausted, my heavy lids would finally close.
I’d wake having felt like I’d never slept – you know that spent feeling after a heavy workout? But I had nothing to show for it – except bags (and not the Chanel type).
Even Mish loves her iPad!
So Why Can’t I Sleep?
What caused my lack of sleep? Simply, my circadian rhythms were all stuffed up. The artificial short wave blue light from my electronic devices was having a chemical effect on my brain, disrupting my sleep patterns. Due to not “switching off”, my brain could not “switch off”. I wasn’t getting the sufficient amount of darkness my body needed to produce melatonin – the hormone that helps you sleep.
Shutting Down Before Bed Works
Leading Australian researcher Professor Shantha Rajaratnam from Monash University’s School of Psychology and Psychiatry has delved into this growing problem and uncovered that the culprit is indeed electronic lighting. However, Professor Rajaratnam says the solution is simple: “We would recommend that these devices are shut down at least one hour before bedtime.”
As I dug deeper, I uncovered further research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, that says studies show a direct link between sleep loss and the body’s ability to metabolise sugar, control food intake and maintain energy balance.
Tired and overweight, I decided enough was enough. So, I switched everything off and got a blissful eight hours sleep.
And, my husband got his wife back.
Switch off before bed for a better sleep. Which app do YOU have trouble switching off? Let us know in the comments!
Technology can also be an awesome tool for improving your health and fitness (when used correctly). Check out these awesome apps!