Using a smartphone or tablet before bed has become part of modern life
Whether it’s a teething baby, late-night dancing, or simply a compelling Netflix series, we’ve all had bloodshot ‘days after’ where we’ve relied heavily on caffeine. Most adults have had to deal with the knock-on effects of a lack of sleep.
Using a smartphone , tablet or laptop right up until the moment you settle down to sleep has become part of modern life.
It’s so tempting to have one last Instagram session , cheeky episode of something or quick sweep of the internet before lights-out.
But if you knew the extent of the havoc this behaviour can play with your body, would you change it?
A toxic habit
In a video for Business Insider , Dr Daniel Siegel explained the impact of using a smartphone before bed.
He said: “People are exposing their eyes to a stream of photons from these objects which basically say, ‘stay awake.'”
Specifically, the light being beamed from these screens sending a crucial message to our brain “don’t secrete melatonin yet, it’s not time for sleep.”
The more the phone or mobile device checking continues, the later it gets and the less sleep we get.
This, according to Dr Siegel, means anything less than seven hours results in the glial cells being unable to clean up the toxins our neurones produce.
But how does this relate to our waistlines?
Although 5% of people aren’t affected by these toxins, for the rest of us, our insulin levels suffers.
Insulin helps regulate our metabolism, and a lack of sleep “turns it upside down”, meaning not only are we more likely to gain weight – but we also eat more.
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So tiredness boosts our hunger, while – annoyingly – slowing down the rate at which all those ‘pick me up’ calories are burned off.
It’s an all-too-easy habit to fall into but Dr Siegel strongly recommends turning off all screens at least an hour before bed .
Other benefits include a sharper memory and attention span as well as better problem-solving skills.
Which, long-term, are all more beneficial than staying up for the Game of Thrones season finale.