The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

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Ditch Electronics Before Bed

Electronics before bed affects your sleep patterns in more ways than most people know.  The blue light from your electronics affects your REM sleep and your sleep patterns and staying up late on your phone in general affects your sleep simply because you are getting less rest.

 

Why it Matters:

Everyone needs sleep.  It is proven that you need sleep so you don’t feel tired in the morning.  You also need sleep so that you can grow and recover from illness.

 

How it Works:

Electronics before bed affects sleep in multiple ways, including your sleep cycle, according to WFS Nurse Kate Griest. “It (Blue light) disrupts the natural production of melatonin in your body.”  Melatonin is the substance in your body that keeps your sleep cycle in rhythm.  So if your natural production of melatonin is disturbed then you might not be able to fall asleep until later in the night, which will make you less productive the next day.

 

What it Does:

  • Interaction:  When you go on your phone at night, your brain is stimulated by whatever it is that you are doing on your phone.  Your phone is built to interact with you, so when you go on your phone at night and start using it, your brain keeps wanting to interact with your phone rather than going to sleep.

 

  • Ability to Relax:  At night, when you are on your phone, say you decide to check your email or texts.  Say you check a text from a group chat you are on and someone has texted something that is really upsetting or important to you.  Now that you are all riled up about this upsetting comment, your mind isn’t able to relax quite as easily because now you can’t stop thinking about the comment you read.

 

  • Staying Awake: Doom scrolling is a big problem for sleep.  Doom scrolling is when you go on social media at night and you just start scrolling.  You keep seeing more and more things that you want to see more of, and you say “5 more minutes”, and you end up staying up on your phone for over 30 minutes instead of 5.  Emma Furman, a Middle School Student at WFS says how she can feel the effect of going on her phone at night, “I am definitely more cranky in the morning if I am on my phone at night compared to when I am reading.”

 

  • Alertness: When you scroll through social media, your brian becomes alert.  You may see some photos from a friend or a post from a family member.  When you set down your phone to go to bed, your brain will continue to think about what you saw and that will make it a lot harder to fall asleep.

 

The Bottom Line:  In the end, no one is perfect.  It is understandable if you go on your phone at night, but, you should always try to do your best to resist the temptation of going on instagram, or playing a game, or watching TV at night so you can get better sleep.

 

Go Deeper:  If you want to read more about Blue light and how it affects your sleep, search up these sources:

 

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