Screens and Sleep

shutterstock_147721862-smallTechnology and Our Healthy Sleep

Research shows that light from screens and radiation from wireless can impact our sleep. The quality of our sleep profoundly impacts learning and memory and is essential for retaining new information. A sleep-deprived child cannot focus their attention as well as a child who had a good night’s sleep. Early research showed that teenagers who use their phones more had more trouble falling asleep and staying asleep and were more tired and stressed than those who sparingly used their phones. New research confirms these associations and strongly suggests that simple basic changes to our tech use and nighttime routines can result in a better night’s sleep.

Furthermore, research shows that sleep is a time when the brain cleans out toxins accumulated during the daytime. Ensuring a healthy sleep is one of the most powerful steps we can take to prevent illness and protect our family’s health and wellbeing.

Wireless radiation impacts sleep in several ways.

Research has shown that exposure to wireless radiation results in delayed entrance into deep non-REM sleep and decreases time spent in certain sleep stages.

  • The blue light from screens has been shown to disrupt sleep cycles. The American Medical Association issued a policy to develop and implement healthier technologies recognizing “that exposure to excessive light at night, including extended use of various electronic media, can disrupt sleep or exacerbate sleep disorders, especially in children and adolescents.”
  • Research on wireless radiation has shown that it inhibits the production of a hormone called melatonin (see the scientific references at the bottom of this webpage). Melatonin is secreted in the pineal gland in the brain. One of its primary functions is to regulate our sleep cycle. When inadequate amounts of melatonin are produced, our sleep cycle is compromised.

Why is sleep important?
How are wireless devices impacting sleep?
What devices emit blue light?
How does the blue light impact sleep?
What does research on sleep, screens, and light show?

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES AND NEWS ARTICLES

Mobile phone radiation wrecks your sleep, HEALTH NEWS

Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain, Science 18 October 2013

Harvard Health Letter: Blue light has a dark side

Study Shows Small Screens in Children’s Bedrooms Can Harm Sleep: American Academy of Pediatrics

Bright Screens Could Delay Bedtime: Using a tablet or computer in the late evening disrupts the body’s melatonin production, Scientific American


SCIENTIFIC REFERENCES ON WIRELESS AND SLEEP

A double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled cross-over study on the possible effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by pulsed Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) 900 and Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access (WCDMA)/Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (WCDMA/UMTS) devices on sleep were analyzed.
Circadian rhythmicity of antioxidant markers in rats exposed to 1.8 ghz radiofrequency fields.
Stimulation of the brain with radiofrequency electromagnetic field pulses affects sleep-dependent performance improvement.
The Effects of 884 MHz GSM Wireless Communication Signals on Self-reported Symptom and Sleep (EEG)- An Experimental Provocation Study PIERS Online Vol. 3 No. 7 2007 pp: 1148-1150
Sleep EEG alterations: effects of different pulse-modulated radio frequency electromagnetic fields.
Effects of Pulsed High-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields on Human Sleep
Pulsed radio-frequency electromagnetic fields: dose-dependent effects on sleep, the sleep EEG and cognitive performance.

REFERENCES ON MEDIA USE AND SLEEP

Sleep Duration, Restfulness, and Screens in the Sleep Environment
Association between electronic media use and sleep habits: an eight-day follow-up study
The Association Between Use of Electronic Media in Bed Before Going to Sleep and Insomnia Symptoms, Daytime Sleepiness, Morningness, and Chronotype, Behavioral Sleep Medicine
Media Use and Child Sleep: The Impact of Content, Timing, and Environment.
Electronic media use and sleep in school-aged children and adolescents: A review.
Television Viewing, Bedroom Television, and Sleep Duration From Infancy to Mid-Childhood
The health indicators associated with screen-based sedentary behavior among adolescent girls: a systematic review.
Screen media usage, sleep time and academic performance in adolescents: clustering a self-organizing maps analysis.
Effects of Pre-Sleep Media Use on Sleep/Wake Patterns and Daytime Functioning Among Adolescents: The Moderating Role of Parental Control

 

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