I am sure you sleep with your mobile phone about an arm length away from your pillow (or maybe even under your pillow). You probably have an iPad or similar pad you browse on or read on before falling a sleep. Maybe you even bring your computer to bed just to fix something on a document you have to finish for work in the morning or you just have to see what happens when the US market opens. If you can’t sleep, you’ll reach for you phone to see what’s going on on Twitter and Instagram, maybe update your Facebook status too “Sleepless night. Again” to see if anyone else is awake too. If you manage to fall asleep, you will be woken up by your phone alarm or your phone playing your favourite song, before you quickly check your emails and the stock market before getting out of bed.
I get it, I do it too, and I’ll be the first to say “I love technology”, but I am wondering what it does to us? What does it to with our quality of sleep and our sleep patterns? We need a decent amount of sleep and rest every night to be able to recover from training and build muscle. We need plenty of sleep to keep our skin healthy. If we don’t sleep enough we release too much stress hormone. Sleep deprivation is the most common reason for people who burn out or “hit the wall” and is often due to unrealistic expectations of our busy lifestyles and us underestimating how much sleep we actually need to function properly. Is it stressing to have to always keep up with every social media outlet you are connected to? Are we all suffering a little from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and is that we are constantly online, even when we should be sleeping?
Very often, lack of sleep or sleeping problems are stress related. People don’t calm down and prepare for bedtime anymore. You might still think about work, because you closed your laptop two seconds before you turned the lights off. You expect your body to go into sleep mode with no warning what so ever when the day is over. Unfortunately there is no Shut Down button on your body. It needs to unwind, calm down, relax and then it falls asleep. But we don’t have time for that. Ideally you just want a Reset button, no 8 hours per night sleep necessary, just a quick Restart and you feel better than ever. How good would that be?! I wonder it technology will ever get that far.
So what does sleep deprivation do to us? Well it makes you sleepy, tired and you probably look pretty bad too. But there is a serious of other pretty nasty things to little sleep can do to you, such as falling asleep in the car and die in a car accident (I know, that one is pretty obvious) or falling asleep in that important meeting with your boss (that would be pretty bad too). But, no, seriously, sleep is important for you and here is a list of health implications that may occur when not getting enough sleep; depression, weight gain (because your brain tells you to eat to compensate for the lack of sleep), early ageing of your skin (not enough repair and recovery time), lower IQ, kills your sex drive (gives you a good reason for jumping in the hay a little earlier, doesn’t it?), increased blood pressure and chronic sleep loss also puts you at risk of heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, stroke and diabetes. All this for not getting enough sleep or good quality sleep. Sounds nasty.
I am guilty of it myself; taking my ipad to bed to read. Checking my phone if I wake up at night. But I love my sleep and I try to enjoy about 8 hours of it every night. It doesn’t alway happen, but it feels good when it does. And I feel stronger and fitter the next day. And maybe even smarter? (I could also include in this post the dangers of having the mobile phone close to your pillow and having the radiation from it penetrating your head in your sleep and putting you at higher risk of cancer. But I won’t.) So, where am I getting at here? What if you try going to bed a little earlier? And leaving your mobile phone in the kitchen? Try to read a book made of paper before falling asleep. I’m not saying I will, I think my FOMO is to strong for that. YOLO, right? (I’m to old for this!)
Smell the roses instead of the internet, I am pretty sure they would be better for you for long term good sleep patterns 🙂