One Thing You Should Avoid Doing an Hour Before Bedtime

“Oh sleep! It is a gentle thing; Beloved from pole to pole,” said British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

But sometimes, the gentle beloved eludes our eyes, leaving our body and mind feeling tired when a new day dawns.

For years now, sleep advice has centered around some simple everyday things: don’t eat a heavy meal before bedtime, avoid alcohol and caffeine before you sleep, don’t take long naps in the afternoon—and such.

Now, another piece of important advice is gaining prominence. Sleep experts suggest you step away from your electronic gadgets at least one hour before you get into bed.  Even if you cannot do this on a daily basis, try doing it at least a few times a week.

A National Sleep Foundation survey has found that 95% of Americans use some kind of electronic gadget in the hour before they sleep.

Television, video games, computer or cell phone—all of these expose you to artificial light, suppressing the release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. Further, these gadgets make you feel more alert at a time when you should actually be winding down for the night.

According to Charles Czeisler, PhD, MD, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “Invasion of such alerting technologies into the bedroom may contribute to the high proportion of respondents who reported that they routinely get less sleep than they need.”

I have to admit that I tend to do my writing at night. This information makes me resolve to shift my writing hour to the morning, and leave the pivotal hour before bedtime open for some much-needed relaxation. Do you use tech gadgets before going to bed?

Related:
Top 10 Sleep Mistakes and Their Solutions
30 Insane Facts About Sleep

 

141 comments

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson2 years ago

Those gadgets make me tired! I'm ready for bed NOW. I need to finish my coffee first.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe2 years ago

I try to read for an hour or so before I go to bed. It seems to relax me!

june t.
june t.2 years ago

I find that gadgets do affect my sleep, and I could easily sit up all night using the laptop or tablet and not be aware of the time. I wish using the computer at work would help me not get sleepy at my desk.

Val M.
Val M.2 years ago

I am not sure why electric lights aren't counted as well. Is there something different about the light from a computer etc?

Mary Donnelly
Mary Donnelly2 years ago

Great idea.

Monika Ka
Monika K.2 years ago

Thanks.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.2 years ago

Thanks.

Anne K.
Anne K.2 years ago

Thank you!

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

Shirley E.
Shirley E.2 years ago

Good sleep is nothing to do with gadgets, it's to do with peace of mind. Keep your conscience clear, your relationships happy and your work-and-other-life balance good and you'll sleep just fine.