What is the last thing most of us do right before falling asleep? Is it almost routine to check social media or text a friend right before you are ready for bed? Is it common to feel the need to check your phone for missed notifications in the middle of the night? A National Sleep Foundation poll discovered 95 percent of Americans use some form of technology within an hour of bedtime. This proves that Americans feel the need to stay connected and continue to interact with their devices late into the night. It is important to recognize, especially as college students, how using technology before going to bed affects us. College students are always talking about how much they need sleep and how they never find the time to get to bed early. However, this lack of sleep can be attributed to the high amounts of screen time before trying to sleep.
According to Megan Miller, writer for The Crimson White, the continually increasing use of technology is beginning to have negative effects on important aspects of everyday health, especially sleep. Sleep is a vital part of our everyday lives and we are not getting enough of it. By reducing the usage of technology that emits brightness before bed we can see benefits to our sleep patterns. The Mayo Clinic discovered that laptops, tablets, and cell phones emit high levels of brightness, which suppresses the amount of melatonin produced in the body. Low levels of Melatonin then lead to a disrupted sleep-cycle, which can produce long restless nights filled with tossing and turning. By simply turning off these devices an hour before bed, a person is almost guaranteed to get a better night sleep and be more productive the next day.
As college students we are always looking for ways and shortcuts to get things done more productively. One thing we all could work on is getting a more satisfying nights rest. By turning off those phones, tablets, and laptops before heading to bed maybe we would show up to our Monday morning classes feeling a little more refreshed. This is a simple solution to a large problem many of us face, so instead of counting “likes” count sheep.
This article was submitted by Hayley Johnson, contributing writer.