Tag: Sleep and Technology

Sleepless Nights: Tech To The Rescue

We all think of technology as a distraction to our slumber. Of course, we are referring to smart gadgets and smartphones that have long become staples in our daily lives but eat up too much of our time. Can you imagine the stress you feel after realizing that you left your phone as you make your way to school or work in the morning? You feel incomplete, right? And it is basically true. That is how attached we have become to our tech gadgets that we even compromise our precious sleep just for a few more minutes or hours of “me time” on your social media accounts. Essentially, you are just scrolling through your newsfeed and checking out what other people are doing with their lives but the intense #FOMO (fear of missing out) prevents you from signing out of your device and head to dreamland already.

However, let us not generalize technology as something bad for it really does serve some really cool and practical purpose when used properly. In reality, it is our lack of discipline that has brought about sleeping issues because of tech use. Our affinity towards our smart gadgets has become an obsession that we can’t seem to resist day in and day out. Fortunately, others have developed tech innovations that show us these tech gadgets can actually bring about a positive change to your sleeping habits with their help, so you no longer become a slave to your device and become a sleep-deprived-zombie, but hopefully, a normal and functional individual.

Using an iPhone application called Sleep Better, we have been tracking our sleep for almost a year. On and off, we have data from 200-plus nights, each broken down to show how many minutes of light and deep sleep we achieve.

It’s reassuring to know that, on average over 200 nights, we have slept for 86% of our target eight hours. This includes weekdays, weekends, holidays and nights spent on planes and sofas.

But can we do better? Despite the stats looking good, can we shift the groggy feeling we have most mornings; the reluctance to get out of bed no matter what, and the post-lunch tiredness bringing our afternoons to a halt? We have assembled four very different gadgets to try and find out.

(Via: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/can-technology-improve-your-sleep-4-gadgets-put-test-1637924)

These gadgets can improve your sleep with continued use. Those who have tried them gave a score of 9/10 and stated that they enjoy deeper and longer sleep because of these devices. Those who have a hard time falling asleep didn’t have any difficulty drifting off to slumber and enjoy longer, uninterrupted sleep that they have been craving for all along. The best thing is that they aren’t that expensive too nor uncomfortable to use.

“Sleep Better” tracks your sleep duration, cycles and efficiency with the simple tap of a button.  Doing so helps develop a better understanding of your light sleep, deep sleep and even time spent tossing and turning.  The app’s smart alarm feature helps you wake up at the ideal time.  The app is free for iOS and Android.

    “Sleep Time” doubles as a sleep analysis app and alarm clock.  Its free and available for Android and Apple devices, and it integrates with the Apple Health app.  It analyzes sleep cycles, creating graphs based on the information.  The app even features soundscapes and white noise to help you fall asleep easier.

(Via: http://www.mywabashvalley.com/lifestyle/tech-talk/technology-matters-sleep-apps/803441047)

Who said apps are just for fun and no real, important purpose? Bring back your normal circadian rhythm with the help of these sleep apps. Counting sheep does not work anymore and you’d likely be turning to your phone for entertainment but these apps work the opposite way as if it is urging you to close your eyes and say goodbye to the rest of the world, just for the night.

But if you are suffering from a medical condition like sleep apnea, these devices may not give you the results you need. Get yourself checked and prescribed with anti-snoring devices like https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/sleeptight and https://snoringmouthpiecereview.org/good-morning-snore-solution if you aren’t comfortable using a CPAP machine throughout the night. They are far more effective than any tech device pseudo-sleep stimulator because they also correct the anatomical problems that predisposed you to snore and sleep apnea in the first place.

Does Technology Make Us Lose More Sleep?

Kids of today grow up in a world filled with technology. So, it is more common to see one holding a smartphone or tablet than seeing someone reading an actual book or playing out in the dirt. The youth have openly embraced technology because it has been there all around them growing up. Even adults nowadays also enjoy the comfort and convenience offered by these technologies.

With the constant distraction of technology and the endless things to do during the day (includes hobbies and interests, not to mention tons of homework and essays), students consequently miss out on sleep. So, the question now is whether our life really becomes easier and better because of technology or is it an unnecessary burden we can all afford to live without.

Heavy school workloads, on top of extracurricular activities, are a key reason behind an epidemic in sleep deficit. Our 14-year-olds are worried sick, even if they are not telling you. It might be anxiety over an upcoming test or friendship angst that follows your daughter home from school. The lure of the blue-lit screen resting on the bedside table adds to the problem, with the short-wavelength light emitted suppressing the sleep hormone and delaying sleep onset. In lay terms, the teen’s brain is being told it’s time to wake up.

And then, when they wake to a piercing alarm the next morning, what is their first act? That question is put to a group of Brisbane 14-year-olds. The answer is so in tune it seems practised: “Check my phone.”

Sarah goes to bed between 10.30 pm and 11.30 pm. She admits she is on Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and ooVoo. Sheepishly, she also owns up to the fact that she’s only allowed social media between 4 pm and 9.30pm – so doesn’t begin her homework until 9.30pm. Her case points to another issue: few 14-year-olds have curfews, and those who do largely ignore them, tucked in their room with the door closed, while their parents, tired themselves, nod off to sleep up the corridor.

(Via: http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/todays-teens-are-struggling-to-fit-enough-sleep-into-their-busy-lives-20170329-gv9ego.html)

The facts do not lie and show that younger children really do suffer from too much technology use. Back in the days, young kids were already off to bed at around 8 pm or 9 pm at night. Today, kids are still wide awake at midnight or even in the wee hours of the morning and busy tinkering with their gadgets.

Three times as many children under 14 are being admitted into hospital with sleeping disorders than ten years ago as technology keeps many awake at night.

Households where both parents work are also pushing bedtimes later, with a lack of sleep raising fears of poor school performance and later life health woes.

It puts children at greater risk of developing mental health issues, catching viruses and becoming obese, according to past research. Studies have also linked a lack of sleep to low levels of emotional control.

(Via: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/04/surge-children-admitted-hospital-sleeping-disorders-many-kept/)

We can’t deny that too much technology can really mess up with your day and night whether you are young or old. However, you can also try to use it to your advantage.

Technology can be a helpful tool in tracking our sleeping patterns and reminding us when to head to bed in order to get our full eight hours of rest. But 71 percent of Americans sleep with or near their phones, according to a 2015 report from Bank of America, and we’ve all heard the negative effects of too much screen time before bed.

Take advantage of trackers

Wearable devices, like Fitbit or Jawbone wristbands, aren’t just for fitness. These trackers can monitor the quality of your sleep by measuring your sleep cycles, noting how many times you toss and turn, wake up and more, all without disturbing your sleep or requiring screen time before bed.

Use apps for relaxation

There are a multitude of smartphone apps that can track your sleep — but they require your phone to be next to your pillow, inevitably causing distractions like sending that one last email or waking up to the buzz of text messages. Instead, try a brief guided meditation through an app like Headspace before getting into bed. Or you can quietly play Pzizz Sleep, a sound app with scientifically proven techniques that combine neurolinguistic programming, binaural beats and sound effects.

Adjust your lighting

Bright lights can disrupt your biological clock, making it difficult to fall asleep. If you have a newer iPhone, take advantage of the night shift setting, which automatically adjusts the screen to appear more yellow at night. You can turn on the feature manually or schedule it around your bedtime.

(Via: http://www.ydr.com/story/life/wellness/blogs/no-sweat-york/2017/03/23/striking-balance-sleep-and-technology/99533178/)

The issue between sleep and technology is something we can’t all ignore. Although most of us only see its bad side, there are other ways to make technology work for us without our health suffering in return. And most of all, exercise discipline and moderation in technology use.

Set a specific time in the day when you will indulge yourself in an hour or two of web surfing and social media updating. For young kids, an hour will do and a little more over the weekend. Strike up a balance where you can still do all the important things in life that involves school, work, and household chores and indulge in a little bit of technology as a reward for all your hard work. That way, you do not overdo things and you still get that precious sleep at night that your body desperately needs in order to recharge and prepare for the following day.