From watching television to checking emails on smart phones, our beds have become somewhere to turn on rather than off.
Modern technology has proved a welcome addition to many areas of our lives, but its intrusion into the bedroom could be a significant factor in why so many of us are struggling to sleep.
Researchers at the Lighting Research Centre have discovered that as little as two hours’ exposure to backlit devices (think tablets, LED television and smartphones) can cause users to have difficulty sleeping. Even such a relatively moderate time in front of a self-luminous display can suppress melatonin (a vital hormone that promotes sleep) production by 22 per cent.
The solution seems simple: spend some time away from the screen before bed, as much as a couple of hours if possible. But with the divisions between our on and offline lives increasingly blurred, such separation isn’t always easy.
So you should set definite boundaries – don’t allow a television, smartphone or tablet in your bedroom. Be sure to use an old-fashioned clock to wake you, rather than one of your hi-tech devices, so that you can’t be tempted to send a sneaky text last thing at night when you should be setting your alarm.