Technology is all around us. You can’t live without it but you can manage it better so that it doesn’t affect your sleep and the quality of the day after. If you have become a slave to your technology, and to the people that think that it is okay to text late at night, then it really is time to re-think how you get ready for bed.
Now is a good time to take a pause and to think about how and when you should use your phone and when it should be turned off. Before your regular school or work routine starts try to develop some good pre-sleep habits that will not waste your time and lead to sleep deprivation.
In actual fact cell phones, iPads, computers and other electronics should be left outside the bedroom all together. Experts warn that when you are preparing for bed taking your phone into the bedroom may be costing you a good night’s sleep. Watching television or getting wrapped up in other people’s drama is not at all relaxing.
If anything receiving new information, late at night, starts your mind thinking about things that it should not be thinking about as you are preparing for sleep. Think about it, no matter what happens there is nothing you can do about it at 10 o’clock at night; therefore, why waste all that precious relaxation time texting and thinking about it.
Late Night Texting leads to Sleep Deprivation
A study from Washington and Lee University in the United States showed that excessive texting was directly linked to sleep deprivation. The study, carried out by psychology professor Karla Murdock, examined the sleep and texting patterns of 183 first-year university students. It found a higher number of daily texts was directly associated with an increase in sleep problems.
Two behavioural habits were suggested as culprits for this: students often felt pressured to reply to texts immediately, regardless of the time of day or night and the tendency of many students to sleep with phones, by their bedside, and therefore be awaken by alerts from incoming texts.
Dr. Hlavac, a Neurosurgeon and Sleep Expert, said texting before bed was among a number of activities which could interfere with a person’s “sleep hygiene”.
Other things included: watching TV in bed, playing on a computer or tablet in bed, or having a cell phone near your bed so you can get the latest text message – no matter how late it is.
“They are all things which will tend to delay sleep onset and interfere with your ability of getting into a deep sleep early on in the night,” he said.
While he didn’t specifically quiz his patients about their texting habits, Dr. Hlavac said it was highly likely that avid daytime texters would carry their habit on at bedtime and throughout the night.
Success is Taking Action
What could people possibly be thinking when they are texting so late at night? In the olden days, before cell phones, you wouldn’t dare call someone’s house late at night in fear that they may be sleeping and you didn’t want to wake them.
If we did it without thinking, then our parents would quickly remind us to tell our friends not to call past a certain hour – for us it was 10 pm. Unfortunately in today’s world parents don’t often hear the phone ring and they don’t get the chance to constantly remind their kids of the right thing to do.
Still, as parents, it should be our responsibility to make sure that our kids are doing the right thing; especially, when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.
Personally, my phone is programmed to go on at 8 am and turn off at 8 pm at night (unless we are out of the house). Family and friends know that if they need to get a hold of me, after 8 pm, they should call me at home. To be honest with you, I can’t remember the last time I got a call from someone after 8 pm. Sure that could mean that I am not so popular or it could mean that nothing that important happens from 8 pm until midnight that can’t wait until the next day.
Now you know what you should do but will you do it? You know what they say, you can talk about it all you want but success comes to those that “take action!” Turn it off. Keep it out of the bedroom. Relax when you are supposed to relax. Sleep when you should – with a clear mind. And the day after, wake up ready for living. After all, you know what they say – the world belongs to those that sleep well and wake up early!\
R.C. (Bob) Dimas
Be the best that you can be, in the New Year, by maintaining a proper rest and sleep schedule!