Many people cannot even imagine going to sleep before using their phone or tablet. Moreover, they even consider this to be a relaxing activity. In fact, this habit of using mobile gadgets in bed has nothing to do with relaxation and it actually disturbs your sleep. Plus, this activity, if repeated every night, can cause serious health problems.
Technology and Sleep
The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that when you use any kind of technology before going to bed or even in bed, you tend to postpone the moment of actually going to sleep. In the morning, you will regret those hours that you spent on your mobile phone or tablet. How can you overcome tiredness? With a cup of coffee, or two, or more, depending on how tired you are. Excessive caffeine will have a short-term effect on improving your mood and concentration, but in the end, the problem will only be worsened.
Another important aspect is the light that comes from your mobile gadget. This problem is often neglected but is influencing your circadian rhythm the most. Your body reacts to stimuli, such as light and darkness. If the body prepares for sleep while the light fades away, as it happens in the evening, when the light is increasing, your body will prepare for activity. No matter if physical or mental activity, your body will remain awake, waiting for some kind of action to take place and this happens even after you turn off your device. But, what you actually want to do is go to sleep.
Sending the wrong messages to your body before you want to go to bed will lead to a delayed and poor sleep.
Without enough sleep, your overall health will be affected, but especially your heart’s health. Moreover, there is an undeniable link between sleep disorders and metabolic syndrome. How can this syndrome be explained? It is a multitude of health issues caused by a disrupted circadian rhythm. Let’s analyze some of these health problems that are connected to the usage of mobile gadgets before sleep.
A study published in Obesity Reviews connected obesity with lack of sleep and disrupted circadian rhythm.
What happens in your body when this rhythm is disturbed? Not only that you are no longer sleepy in the night, but you feel more active than you should. This happens because every cell of your body is active and they try to do their job, transporting more nutrients and hormones for increasing the energy, just as they do during the day. But as you will not do any physical activity, all the fat and triglycerides prepared for this activity will be deposited in your body.
In 2013, Sleep Medicine published a study regarding the link between hypertension and sleep deprivation. The research has revealed the importance of nighttime sleep for maintaining a healthy heart. The lack of sleep considerably increases the risk of high blood pressure.
Another study made in 2006 showed that middle-aged people who sleep less than 5 hours per night have a 60% increased risk of hypertension. The study had 4,810 participants.
Hypertension is also triggered by lack of sleep because your body is always alert when it does not rest enough.