By Dr. Michael S. Trayford — APEX Brain Centers
Eliminating technology from the bedroom is a very important topic that deserves great attention in this technologically dominated world in which we live. Suffice it to say, all of our gadgets and technology addictions are posing a significant threat to our brain and body health (even with all of their positive attributes). The biggest reason we know of relates to the effects of artificial lights on our brains. This is particularly true for laptops, tablets and handheld devices. Research has found that LED lighting is suggestive to the brain. The blue light emitted by these types of devices simulates the light outdoors.
This means you could be on your tablet, in bed, at 10 p.m. and the blue light is telling your brain that it’s light outside. The human sleep-wake cycle is based on our relationship to the natural light in our environment.
When we are artificially inducing daylight through use of these devices, particularly at night, the brain gets very confused. Hormones such as cortisol are produced and start to circulate through the blood stream causing a more alert state. This also causes the body to lack certain hormones (i.e. melatonin) that are naturally supposed to be present before sleeping.
Of course, this isn’t just about smart phones and tablets. This also extends to other electronic devices like televisions and stimulation from radios. All devices should be taken into consideration as it’s not just the blue light tricking the brain into thinking it’s light outside. Other types of stimulation disrupt sleep/wake cycles. Simple things like anticipating a text message, email, or phone call create a sense of anticipation that stimulates the brain, making it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.
At the same time, there is also a concern that EMF, or electromagnetic field, waves can have a negative impact on the brain; particularly if placed close to the head.
All of these electronic devices need to be turned off and left in places outside of the bedroom; in the kitchen or wherever they will be used first thing the next morning. This is critically important training for children as all they know is technology and boundaries are becoming less clearly defined as time progresses.
The bottom line is that it’s just not good sleep hygiene to have these electronic devices in your bedroom, so think about a change if you want some shut eye.
Dr. Michael Trayford is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and co-founder of APEX Brain Centers.