According to the National Sleep Foundation, 95% of Americans regularly use a computer or electronic device of some kind in the hour before bed. Exposure to the light from these electronic devices can significantly lower levels of the hormone melatonin, which regulates your internal clock and plays a role in your sleep cycle.
For those of you who find it difficult to sleep or to sleep better, you may want to try some of the tips below (besides lessening the use of electronic devices prior to bed):
- Unwind before bed. Have a transition period, about one hour, of technology-free time before you go into your bedroom for sleep.
- Leave your cell phone in the other room when you go to bed. Cell phones are increasingly recognized as a source of sleep disturbance in children and adolescents, with many “sleep texting” inadvertently. If your phone sounds with an alert for a text message or if a call rings through, this will disrupt your sleep pattern.
- Go to bed earlier. Even if you don’t feel tired, try lying down about an hour earlier until you get a full 7-8 hours each night.
- Relieve stress. People with uncontrolled stress are more prone to insomnia. But exercise, meditation, yoga, and other techniques can help you relax.
- Let it out. Try to decrease your brain activity before bed by writing in a journal. It will help clear your mind so you can close the book on today and move forward.
- Turn down the lights. It’s more difficult to fall and stay asleep in a room that is too bright. Wear a sleeping mask and close the blinds and curtains to diminish light and set the mood for sleep.
- Eat at regular intervals. This keeps your energy and blood sugar levels stable. With fewer highs and lows, you’ll be alert all day and ready to sleep at night.
The Baptist Health Sleep Center is designed to help you discover the cause of your sleeplessness, and determine the most effective treatment options. Sleep studies, for children age 5 to adults, are offered at our Louisville and La Grange locations.