Tag Archives: sleep

Bedtime=Lights Out!


Technology has been increasingly thriving over the past centuries. Lightbulbs, clocks, phones, computers, the internet, televisions, cars, washer machines, dryers, microwaves, ovens, guns, you name it. These amazing inventions have been making human life easier and better… or has it? Is all of this new technology affecting us negatively, which is making our health worse?

Studies show that the reliance and use of technology could actually affect your health in a bad way. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleep “can affect sleep deprivation and lack of sleep, the consequences… adversely affect their performance, mood, family relationships, the driving habits, sex life and general health of the individual”(Say 1). Most importantly, it affects a humans sleep. Texting, watching television, playing video games emailing, blogging, talking on the phone, and more before bedtime can skew the body’s sleeping patterns. Using technology before bed causes a human’s body to be more tired the following day(Say 1). Exhaustion could lead to bad working habits, unsafe driving, lack of effort, and more.


The reason why technology increases exhaustion is because of the exposure of light. According to Charles Czeisler, a Harvard Medical School Scientist, light affects a humans metabolism and the amount of melatonin released inside the body(Say1). Melatonin is a hormone that reduces the amount of sleep a person receives and it affects our ‘human clocks’, which messes up our sleeping patterns(Study 1).


The NSF has done studies in the past which have proven this theory. According to one of their studies, a survey showed that 95 participants used some sort of technology before bed and two-thirds of them admitted that they were tired throughout the week(Say 1). Studies then show that teenagers (ages 13-18) are the most vulnerable; 22% of the members that fit this category admitted to be constantly tired during the week(Say 1). Another study, conducted and written about in the journal Applied Ergonomics, showed that the exposure to technology/light decreased the amount of melatonin in the body(Study 1). The researchers gathered multiple volunteers and had them play games, watch television, and use other technology while measuring the amount of light that their eyes received(Study 1). After the study was conducted, they found that the light reduced their levels of melatonin by 22%, which has been consisted with other experiments.

I believe that this experiment is great since the researchers used a large and random selection of people. Also, since it is consistent with other experiments, it makes it seem more valid. However, the experiment could be flawed due to chance or confounding/third variables. Some confounding/third variables could of been other random exposures of light in the room, a persons health (how good or bad their eyes are), and the amount of sleep they got prior to the testing day.

What do you think?


Works Cited

“Say NO to Technology before Bedtime.” Say NO to Technology before Bedtime. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

“Study Confirms That Gadgets Before Bed = Bad Idea.” SleepBetterorg Study Confirms That Gadgets Before Bed Bad Idea Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

Is the extra 10 minutes of sleep worth it?

I decided I wanted to do some research on this topic because it is a problem I am confronted with just about every day when I have to wake up for class. Is getting the 10 extra minutes of sleep really worth hitting the snooze button? I am not personally the one doing this but every morning before about an hour before I have to wake up for class my roommates alarm goes off and he just snoozes it all the time. It constantly goes off and wakes me up and he snoozes it about 2-3 times before he gets up. I know he may think he’s getting extra rest but studies have shown otherwise.

Contrary to popular belief hitting the snooze button on your alarm in the morning because you are tired, actually just makes you even more tired. Every one has a biological sleep cycle that adjusts itself to your tendencies of when you go to sleep every night and when you wake up in the morning. When you lay down at night and begin to fall asleep you are beginning this cycle that lasts until you wake up. Two things are going on when you are struggling for a couple of extra minutes of sleep, “First, you’re fragmenting what little extra sleep you’re getting so it is of poor quality. Second, you’re starting to put yourself through a new sleep cycle that you aren’t giving yourself enough time to finish. This can result in persistent grogginess throughout the day.”

You wake up in the morning and feel as if you haven’t gotten enough sleep so you think that maybe a couple of extra minutes will help. Once your alarm wakes you up and you lay back down you are actually beginning a new sleep cycle which in just a few minutes will be interrupted. When your sleep cycle is interrupted it has actually been proven to make you more groggy throughout the day and less alert, “It slows down your decision-making abilities, impairs your memory and hurts your general performance once you do get out of bed.” Your body has a biological clock that works with your sleep cycle, it prepares your body to wake up about two hours before you actually do by warming up your body which will in turn make you feel more alert and less sleep. This is why you are recommended to sleep 8 hours throughout the night. If you wake up before the recommended time your body doesn’t get the chance to prepare you to awake thus leaving you just as tired as when you went to sleep.

What you should do to help avoid this problem is setting your alarm to a time that you actually have to wake up and then actually get out of bed and begin your day. After consistently doing so and getting your body used to the same sleep cycle it will lead to better sleep and a better day. You’ll begin to actually feel tired at a certain time of the night which will help you fall asleep faster. A trick that I’ve seen done is putting your phone at a distance that when your alarm goes off in the morning, you have to physically get up to turn it off. Who knows, maybe after a while you’ll discover that you really are a morning person.