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Does excessive gadget usage cause sleep inconsistencies?

We’ve all heard the rumours, we all have been part of this conversation somewhere or another that excessive gadget use can cause sleep inconsistencies.

The first step in breaking down this issue is in first defining what sleep inconsistency is.

All of us have our natural sleeping patterns which work as per our body clock. These sleep patterns get disturbed quite quickly if not properly maintained.

By maintenance here I mean maintaining proper sleeping habits. These habits include getting appropriate 6-8 hours of sleep and having consistent sleeping and waking up hours.

Often when we’re out of schedule or have a day off, we tend to overdo a particular activity which keeps us awake after our sleeping hours, and hence we end up oversleeping the next morning to compensate for the lost sleep.

These activities, if made habits, can go on to completely disrupt your sleep cycle. When trying to come back to your regular schedule, this can become a problem as you have now adopted a completely new sleeping pattern.

Also read: How to properly hold your smartphone to reduce fatigue

We often tend to stay up late at night when scrolling our Instagram feeds or watching Netflix. Coders, writers and almost every other working professional is spending more and more hours in front of their computers, and this is directly impacting their sleep.

Should you sleep next to your phone? Side effects and solution

 

Exposure to blue light emission is found to make a sleeping person more alert. This emission, if extended long enough, can have effects even after direct exposure is over.

Now while this exposure makes you more alert while sleeping, it also dramatically reduces your sleep quality. Your brain has to do extra work to make you alert while sleeping and in the process, itself doesn’t get much rest.

As we use more and more gadgets, we spend more and more time staring at screens. The increased exposure to our smartphones directly impacts our sleep schedule, which in turn affects how much sleep we get.

The solution

Too much screentime is the reason why you’re not having a good night’s sleep. The simplest solution? Cut down on it.

You must have heard and read it a million times and before, and I’ll repeat it: stop taking your smartphones and laptops to bed. Screentime in bed or just before sleeping is the most harmful to sleep.

A lot of self-discipline also plays a significant role in correcting this issue. You need to assure a proper sleeping schedule where you get at least six hours of good, uninterrupted sleep.

Other solutions include installing anti-glare screens on your computer/laptop. Blue light filters, either physical or software solutions like f.lux can also go a long way in helping you maintain a good sleeping schedule.

Also read: Keyboards and wrist rest: A writer’s guide to comfortable typing

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