Sleep Hygiene and Screen Time - Balance Chicago Physical Therapy

Sleep Hygiene and Screen Time

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Sleep Hygiene and Screen Time

In today’s world we rely on electronic devices more than ever. Whether it is a laptop, tablet, or phone, it is impossible to imagine how to get through the day without using multiple devices. With that being said, there are ways to improve how to use those devices and minimize the impact they have on the brain and sleep schedules.

Impacts of Screen Lighting

The bright lights that come along with all the screens looked at throughout the day place an increased workload on both the eyes and the brain. This increased demand can lead to increased eye strain and headaches that develop throughout the day. It can also impact sleep schedules by diminishing the release of melatonin in the brain, which helps one to fall asleep at night. 

 

Blue light emitted from screens causes increased brain activity and decreased melatonin release. Because of the recent awareness of blue light effects, blue light filtering glasses have become increasingly popular. However, blue light glasses can be expensive.

Strategies to Reduce Daily Blue Light Exposure & Improve Sleep

Here are a few strategies to use throughout the day to improve sleep and reduce the amount of blue light encountered:

 

  1. Adjust the screen to night shift mode (Apple products), night lite (PC/Android), or if the device has the option, select the blue light filter. This will give the screen what seems like an orange tint. It will take time to get used to this change, but after a little bit of time it will look normal.
  2. Avoid screens for at least one hour before going to sleep. This gives the body and brain time to wind down and relax. This also helps reduce exposure to the blue lights that increase brain activity and suppress the melatonin released that helps one sleep. It can be helpful to use this time to read, meditate, clean, or prepare food for the next day. 

In conclusion, devices are a crucial part of everyday life and even with increased reliance on screens, getting adequate rest at night is very important. By utilizing blue light filtering glasses, night shift on devices, and limiting screen time the hour before going to bed, one can reduce blue light exposure and allow for better and more restful sleep.

 

The Balance Chicago Team is here to help you! For more information, or to schedule your appointment, give us a call or click the link above. We look forward to working with you soon!

Blog Written By: Dr. Ryan Smrz, PT, DPT

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