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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Phone-Induced Insomnia and Remedies

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Your phone can induce insomnia by emitting blue light which causes a lot of metabolic problems in the body, this blue light makes it difficult for you to fall asleep and it also makes the quality of your sleep poor.

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Chronic insomnia can cause a lot of health complications including death. Regular exposure to blue light from your phones or laptops can lead to sleeplessness and when this occurs on a regular basis, it can lead to depression, obesity, and other kinds of deadly diseases.

In a particular study including 600 participants, the results confirmed that people who use their smartphones all through the day find it difficult to sleep at night. They had worse sleep or hardly fell asleep.

Smartphones obstruct your sleep by disrupting the production of melatonin in your body. The blue light emitted by these phones suppresses the ability of your body to make this hormone. Melatonin is produced by the brain’s pineal gland, this trigger and controls the circadian rhythm which is the natural rhythm of the body. This is what controls your sleep and wake cycle.

The brain triggers the release of this hormone in the body before you fall asleep, this leads to drowsiness and help you to sleep for a long time. When the hormone is not released or released in insufficient amount, it will lead to decreased drowsiness which in turn will make your body unable to initiate sleep or make you have non-restorative sleep.

Light helps in regulating melatonin in the body, when the body produces melatonin, the circadian rhythm creeps in. When you use your phones late at night, you interrupt this process. Excess light reduces the production of melatonin, this is why you don’t feel drowsy during the day because of sunlight making you fully awake during the day.

At night, when you use your phone, this artificial light disrupts the production and action of melatonin. This fools your brain into thinking its day times thereby leading to alertness at night when you should be sleeping.

One reason why this shouldn’t be overlooked is that sleeplessness gives way to deadly health complications like cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, and increased risk of death.

It can also make you tired constantly, younger people suffer from phone-induced insomnia than older people and the more time you spend on your phone or electronic gadgets at night, the poorer your sleep will be.

During the research, it was noted that people who had longer average screen time had a shorter duration of sleep and poor sleep efficiency when compared to those who don’t use their phones at night.

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Another way phones cause insomnia is through noise-making by beeping or ringing from calls, texts, alarms, or some forms of notifications like sounds and flashlight. These can obstruct your sleep and make it difficult for you to fall asleep again.

How to Reverse Phone-induced Insomnia?

The first step is reversing phone-induced insomnia is to put your phone away at night when you want to sleep. In fact, this should be done like 2 or 3 hours before going to bed.

You should have no contact with your phones and other electronic devices which emit blue light a few hours before going to bed. This will help you get decent hours of night sleep which is very essential for maximum health.

Create a technology curfew for yourself, ensure that there is no screen time for at least one hour before going to bed. Use the old-fashioned alarm clock instead of using your phone to set alarm.

You can keep your phone in another room or at least out of your reach till the following morning. Keep your feet warm by wearing socks because warm feet induces sleep.

Also, ensure that your bedroom is dark. This will increase the release and action of melatonin, thus improving your sleep quantity and quality. Regular exercise will also help to improve your sleep pattern, just a few minutes of moderate exercise daily will do. Use a tranquil color to paint your bedroom, this will induce restorative sleep.

Avoid long naps close to bedtime, this can affect your night sleep. Get some moderate amount of sunlight early in the morning, this will help keep you awake and alert all through the day and also make you sleep well at night. You can set an alarm to remind you of when to go to bed.

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is a basic necessity, it is highly important for optimum health and functions of the body. It is a mandatory biological need and also a restorative process. The body repairs and heals itself while you sleep, and this has to be when you are deeply asleep for these healing chemicals to be released. This process happens between 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

When you are deprived of sleep, your vital organs and overall body will start malfunctioning. Your brain is not left out, during sleep, your short-term memory is converted into long-term memory.

When you don’t sleep well, you will suffer from forgetfulness and other forms of memory impairment. Many of your body systems will also fail. Your physical performance will be affected, your attention span and vital systems like your immune and endocrine system will also be affected negatively.

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Sleep deprivation also leads to increased appetite and metabolic disease. Now that you’ve known your phone can affect your sleep, you have to look for ways to reduce using your phone at night, this, in turn, will improve your overall health and give you a restorative sleep every night.


  • http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0165331
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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Ebiojo David
I am a Biochemist and Naturopath, I love writing and educating people on health and wellness matters.

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