With World Sleep Day taking place on March 13th, it is a good time to reflect on if we are doing enough to prepare our bodies for sleep in the evenings. We carried out some research recently into the nation’s pre-sleep habits and found that an alarming number of us are spending our evenings immersed in technology that keeps our brains switched on in a way that affects our sleep. In fact, around 86% of Brits are waking up less than fresh.
Not only that but we also found that many of us feel too busy to relax, with a further six percent of the population going as far as saying they feel guilty for it.
Speaking to Dr Michael Oko, consultant ENT surgeon and founder of the Snoring Disorders Centre, we were shocked to hear just how strong the effects of using technology before bed can be: “these devices emit blue light which stimulates the brain and inhibits melatonin metabolism for a few hours. This has the effect of resetting your body clock (circadian rhythm) and sleep cycle. If you do not get enough quality sleep you cannot perform at your best the next day.”
There is also the risk of major long-term health effects, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. As Dr Oko says, “We are yet to see the true long term impact on the younger generation of this recent advancement in technology.”
What do you do in the evenings to start winding down and preparing for sleep? We have put together a quiz that can help you to assess your own habits, banish the guilt, and make positive changes:
Whilst we are not quite relaxation gurus ourselves, we love nothing more than a bath before bed and will certainly be putting our phones down a little earlier from now on!