Technology & Sleep

For quite some time now we have heard about how technology is bad for sleep. Staring at blue light emitting devices such as televisions, computers, tablet PCs and smart phones can all reduce the production of melatonin (our natural sleeping hormone) at night, causing increased sleeping difficulties and more daytime drowsiness. The best way to reduce this blue light exposure in order to improve sleep is to turn off all gadgets about an hour before bedtime. However for those technophiles who cannot detach themselves from their devices there are two good ways to reduce blue light exposure before bed.

Amber glasses: These glasses specifically eliminate the blue light spectrum know to disrupt melatonin production. Users can still watch television, use the computer etc, without being exposed to the blue light that can throw out the body’s natural sleep/wake rhythm.

f.lux: This is an app for electronic devices (PCs, Macs, IPhones etc) that changes the colour settings of the devices screen depending on the time of the day. After dusk, the colours on your computer screen will gradually become warmer and less bright. This is all designed to ready the user for bed and improve sleep quality.

The best way to reduce blue light exposure however still is to turn off all of these technological gadgets well before bedtime. However for those unwilling or unable to do so, technology may just have a solution for you.

Jason van Schie, Psychologist, People Diagnostix, WA