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One Thing You Should Avoid Doing an Hour Before Bedtime

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?

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


+ add your own
10:50AM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

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

5:01AM PDT on Jul 2, 2014

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

11:18PM PDT on Jun 2, 2014

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.

4:11AM PDT on May 6, 2014

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

4:51PM PDT on May 1, 2014

Great idea.

2:08AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014


8:52PM PDT on Apr 27, 2014


8:50PM PDT on Apr 24, 2014

Thank you!

1:54AM PDT on Apr 23, 2014

Thank you :)

7:09AM PDT on Apr 22, 2014

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.

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