Phones, laptops, tablets prevent good sleep
Is the last thing you do at night to take a look at your smartphone or tablet? According to new research from Harvard Medical School, that could be keeping you from getting a good night's sleep. The study found that the artificial light used to illuminate these devices may disrupt your body's natural sleep patterns and can actually affect the chemicals in your brain, which could prompt people to use more stimulants, including caffeine.
Artificial light prevents the brain from releasing melatonin, the hormone that encourages sleep. Instead, the light activates neurons in the brain that should be promoting sleep and tends to make people more alert. Sleeping near a laptop, phone or even watching television just before bed could disrupt the brain's natural tendencies, leading to sleep deprivation.
According to research, 30 percent of working adults and 44 percent of night-shift workers get fewer than six hours of sleep a night. Less than three percent of American adults slept that little 50 years ago, indicating that the trend is moving in the wrong direction. Children, too, are sleeping less—today kids on average get 1.2 fewer hours of sleep than they did 100 years ago.