Technology Causes Insomnia

04/09/2013

Today we have so many different things stimulating our brains on a daily basis. It used to be that we were losing sleep because of what is in our head and now–we are so bombarded by technology that we are over stimulated. Studies have shown that our brains take way too much time to come down from the over-stimulation brought about by computers.So much so, that it has become a medical concern. The bottom line – technology causes insomnia.

Things like light and other environmental factors affect our sleep patterns. This is because–in simple terms–we have a chemical called melatonin in our brains that triggers a restful sleep. This chemical is made when our eyes send a message to our brains that it is dark and therefore time to sleep. But this transition and release of chemicals begins way before night comes, when the sun begins to go down. This is partially to blame for that afternoon slump you get or “crash” around that time. Technology causes insomnia because it significantly delays the production of melatonin.

Why we are so knocked off

Our brain is made to react to natural light and fresh air as well as certain nutrients. This is a natural combination. Our modern technology and our sedentary indoor all day environments are confusing and hampering the signals we send to our brains. First, the melatonin production is hampered by the constant use of computer screens, and other light emitting devices such as the iPad. Our brain never gets to shut down because it is tricked into thinking it is daylight. And second, it never gets to stop processing information. Therefore, technology causes insomnia because we are normally in front of the computer up to the moment we go to sleep. Our brain needs 2-3 hours of wind-down time before we can really settle into slumber.

Tips to preventing insomnia via technology overload

There are several ways to prevent insomnia due to technological overload. If you work in an office–take your breaks wisely–carry a nutritious snack and walk in the fresh air. Then, when you go to bed, try to shut the computer down 2-3 hours before going to sleep and avoid TV if you can. If you enjoy reading in bed before going to sleep, turn down the brightness setting on your device and read in the dark. The contrast on your screen will still allow you to read without interfering with your body’s internal clock. There are safe and fast acting pills like Somnaprin you can take as well.

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