Sleep Quality and Screens

The electronic glow from the TV, the computer screen, or the cell phone  affect the quality of sleep. It is advised to stop being exposed to screens at least one hour before going to bed. A survey involving 1508 participants aged 13 to 64 revealed that 95% of them were exposed to electronic glow in the last hour before they went to sleep: watching TV, checking emails on laptops, playing video games and texting on cell phones. 63% reported having poor sleep quality. Allison Harvey, a sleep specialist and professor at the University of California Berkeley, noted that exposure to light before sleep can disturb body rhythms and affect the normal release of the sleep promoting hormone melatonin.  “Falling asleep isn’t like flicking a switch. We don’t put our heads on the pillow and fall off to sleep.” He then explained, “We take time to wind down at night. If we’ve got bright light conditions, we’re not giving ourselves a chance to get off to sleep and stay asleep.” In addition to an electronic curfew, Harvey also recommends that people “try to stick to a fairly regular wake time, get bright light in the morning and dim light at night, exercise regularly and have a bedtime routine of 30 to 60 minutes when you’re letting yourself wind down.”