Recently a woman I met shared with me that her sixteen year old daughter was often distressed and was falling asleep in class. The mother then discovered that her daughter was receiving over 400 texts per day and night and was now spending most of her sleeping hours from 10pm to 4am answering texts from other girls while lying in bed.

Then, at a conference I was attending two women who had run an adult dating agency shared that they now specialised in working with over stressed girls aged between 12 and 17 who were also spending most of the night texting from bed, so they would be accepted by their peers.

This new stressor of some teens being addicted to texting in the electronic age, is now part of our ‘must do it now’ lifestyle to be seen as being a ‘good person’.

People who favor watching movies or surfing the web on their smart phone, tablet or laptop, or using an I-reader with bright light screen emission before dropping off to sleep at night could be setting themselves up for serious sleep problems also, according to a new research. These practices are also the cause of chronic stress which spills over into the persons next day activities.

Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire said, “Six in ten British adults are not getting enough sleep and electronic gadgets are to be blamed for this. Today, 59 percent of British adults sleep for seven hours or less a night – compared to 39 percent a year ago. This is a huge rise and the results are extremely worrying because getting less than seven hours’ sleep a night is below the recommended guidelines.”

“The blue light from these devices suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and so it’s important to avoid them before bedtime. This also affects the sweetness of your dreams so it is better to avoid gadgets two hours before going to bed”, he advised.

A study by Mariana Figueiro, of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, stated, “that using an iPad set at maximum brightness for at least two hours suppresses the normal night-time release of melatonin – a crucial hormone in the body’s clock, also known as the circadian system. Under regular conditions, the hormone signals the body that it is night and helps make you drowsy, while delaying the release of melatonin could delay sleep.”

Another study published in the Scientific American said that if exposure to a bright screen is chronic, it could lead to a disruption of the circadian system and result in serious health complications.

Robert Mulaney reported that people who stay up late at night using computers or go to bed only to spend extensive time locked in the infinite scroll of social media is detrimental to their health. This stream of photons from the device can suppress melatonin by up to 22% thus delaying the sleep-wake cycle.

A good sleep each night prepares you for the next day so you don’t start the new morning in a state of stress.

What a good night’s sleep does for you is…

  • it allows the brain to wash away toxins that build up from a hard days thinking
  • to aid your memory, concentration and cognitive function
  • to help in balancing your insulin levels and assists in keeping your weight in balance
  • to be one of your support systems for good health and wellbeing.

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