When it comes time to winding down at night it’s rare that’ll we will go to straight to sleep. The obvious reaction is that we will hop into bed and scroll the facebook feed on our phones, or check our emails on our laptops, we might even just stay up watching ridiculous Youtube videos.
We are all guilty of it.
But up until now you probably never really thought about what it could be doing to the quality of your sleep. All those late night study sessions being exposed to the blue light from your laptop right before you fall asleep, might just affect how proactive you are the next day.
Have you ever woken up feeling sluggish even after 7-8 hours of sleep? This could all be fixed with some simple steps to take before heading off to bed and it doesn’t include screen time.
When we head off sleep right after an hour of scrolling Instagram or finishing up an assignment our brains electrical activity tends to increase. Our neurons are buzzing and winding down becomes a lot more difficult than if we were to allow for 40 minutes of non-screen time before falling asleep.
We spoke to Wellness specialist Louise Bloom who said, “Screens have a huge impact on sleep, looking at a screen before bed is like fireworks going off in your brain then we switch the light out and expect to go to sleep but our brains haven’t been prepared for sleep”.
Sometimes completing assignments at night right before bed just simply can’t be ignored. But giving your brain signs that it needs to be alert right before you need to sleep can cause a lack in productiveness the next day.
“It’s extremely important to get quality sleep, studies show that good quality sleep increases performance in study and sport”.
“Sleeping well helps to regulate emotions, meaning that we make clearer decisions, are less reactive and respond logically.”
Creating a routine before bed can be a step in improving the quality of your sleep. This routine needs to be completed in the same order each night and although it seems easier said than done, these simple “no screen” steps might just improve your next assessment or project.
“We are creatures of habit, like teaching a baby to sleep we create the same nightly routine, as adults we don’t evolve from this we need a sleep routine and have to create the habit of good sleep,” Mrs Bloom said.
Sleep is quite obviously fundamental to our overall wellbeing, without we tend to be irritable and less focused. We may tell ourselves we are sleeping 8 hours a night and that means we are getting enough sleep, but having the right sleep is most important aspect.
“I recommend not having your phone next to your bed, use an alarm clock instead and do not check your phone before bed or during the night as this will instantly wake your brain up and make it very hard to get back to sleep”.
Staying plugged in and wired to a bright light before sleep is one simple thing that might be affecting the way you feel the next day. It’s best for your wellbeing to create a relaxing and light free environment the next time you head to sleep.
“Sleep I believe is the fundamental element of positive wellbeing – without good sleep we will not be able to function to our full potential,” said Mrs Bloom.