Light coming from technological devices can prompt a long night of wakefulness due to delays in the release of melatonin.
It is widely familiar that duration of sleep matters if you want to be healthy and productive in what you do. Also, time spent sleeping can be seen as a manifestation of other problem that a person can experience. For instance, if someone is under a lot of stress lately, it can thus be difficult to fall asleep and/or maintain the same duration – e.g. a person often wakes up during a night. Therefore, a quality of sleep seems to be important as well, if not even more than the quantity.
The National Sleep Foundation defined a good sleep quality as sleeping more time while in bed (at least 85 percent of the total time); falling asleep in 30 minutes or less; waking up no more than once per night; and being awake for 20 minutes or less after initially falling asleep. Interestingly, they also noted that around 27% of people need more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, in average. But, what are the potential drawbacks of not achieving good quality sleep?
Consequences of low-quality sleep
Dr. Walia from Cleveland Clinic emphasized the negative effects that lack of good sleep may have. Lack of alertness can appear as a consequence, as well as a greater likelihood of car accidents. Moreover, people can experience impaired memory in everyday situations. In addition, lack of good sleep can negatively affect mood and thus cause a conflict with other people, which often leads to a lower quality of life. Some long-term consequences might also appear, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and depression.
How to ensure good quality sleep
Several bad habits are connected with low-quality sleep, and many people still utilize them. Besides laying on a mattress that doesn’t suit a person’s needs, people often use the bed for other activities rather than sleeping. For example, people commonly read in bed, eat, talk on the phone, etc. Instead of associating bed with relaxation and sleeping, people then associate it various other activities as well. Another factor worth considering is the technology since many people use their mobile phones, laptops or watch TV nearly before going to bed. Light from these devices can prompt a long night of wakefulness due to delays in the release of melatonin. Also, our brain remains with mental activities as a response to stimuli even after technological devices get shot down because our brain is still “struggling” with information we just received. Finally, technology often keeps us busy and sometimes we even become unaware of the time we spend using it, which can also postpone going to bed.