Day 20 – Wired and Tired
Yesterday we challenged you to concentrate on getting better sleep to help build healthy skin. What’s the last thing you do before shutting your eyes to go to sleep? For many of us it involves our cell phones. During the past 10 years or so a whole new category of sleep disorders have been created due to cell phone and computer use, particularly before bedtime. The light and EMF from our electronic devices is affecting our brains and hormone regulation in a very negative way.
When you use your computer or cell phone, your brain revs up causing increases in electrical activity and neurons firing, the exact opposite of what should be happening before sleep. In addition, the physical action of responding to a Facebook post or email can create mental tension. As you get stressed, your body triggers a “fight or flight” response, and as a result cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland. Remember cortisol? It’s the hormone that breaks down collagen and also prevents you from sleeping well.
In addition, that “glow” from electronics works against us getting quality shuteye. The small amounts of light from these devices pass through the retina into a part of the hypothalamus (the area of the brain that controls several sleep activities) and delay the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. This light can come from a computer, cell phone, TV or even electronic alarm clock. The result is that we are wired and tired from constant stimulation from our electronic devices.
The challenge for today: turn off all electronic devices 1 hour before bedtime and keep them out of the bedroom. If you must read, choose a paper book instead of reading on your iPad or lighted Kindle.