Many of us use a cell phone more now than ever, and they certainly have their benefits. However, plenty of people have pointed out the flaws of our plugged in world, such as losing our social skills, suffering from depersonalization, getting lazier, and even losing sleep.
Technology can serve as a wonderful tool to help us stay connected and learn new information. But that convenience comes with a price, and when it comes to our health, how much are we truly willing to sacrifice? Did you know that using your smartphone before bed can not only disrupt sleep? In fact, it can even make you feel hungover the following day?!
Here’s what happens to your body when you’re on your cell phone before bed:
According to a new study from Michigan State University, people who stayed up after 9PM finishing up work felt notably more tired and less productive the next day compared to those who didn’t get on their cell phone at night, the Telegraph reports.
“Smartphones are almost perfectly designed to disrupt sleep,” Russell Johnson, MSU assistant professor of management, told the Telegraph. “Because they keep us mentally engaged late into the evening, they make it hard to detach from work so we can relax and fall asleep.”
While this study only focused on those who stayed on their phones to do work, it can easily apply to people doing other activities on their phones, such as playing games, checking emails and scrolling through social media accounts.
The study also stressed that the “blue light” emitted from smartphones disrupts the body’s production of melatonin, a chemical that helps induce sleep. Countless studies have shown that the bright lights emitted from phones and computers can delay sleep for hours past your bedtime.
The bright blue lights from tablets, phones and computers basically tell our brains that we need to stay awake, not go to sleep. Artificial light can severely inhibit your body’s ability to produce melatonin, and research even found a link between disruptions to the circadian rhythm and a higher risk of cancer. We need darkness in order to produce melatonin, so especially at night, staying off electronics is vitally important.
Natural darkness helps to protect the body from damage, and keeps your sleep patterns intact. The suppression of melatonin also links to immune system deficiencies, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity and heart disease.