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How Screen Time May Cause Insomnia

Screen time is a relatively new term that describes the amount of time a person spends watching television, playing video games, or browsing the web on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Screen time is sometimes confused with the term screen time. However, screen time is actually the amount of time a person spends looking at a screen, while screen time is the amount of time spent in front of a screen.

Link Between Screen Time And Sleep

If you spend more than two hours in front of a screen in the evening, you may have some difficulty falling asleep at night. This is true even if you get seven hours of sleep. This is because screens emit blue light that tells your brain it’s daytime and needs to be alert. When you consistently stare at a screen before bed, your brain gets used to it being daylight. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep when you really need to. In fact, this causes insomnia for many people.

Screen Time Affects Melatonin Production

Sleep hygiene is important for good sleep, and screens before bed can harm it. The blue light emitted from electronic devices can delay melatonin production. Melatonin helps regulate sleep cycles, so when it is delayed or inhibited, this can become problematic for night owls. Staying away from electronics at night can help promote better sleep patterns.

Screen Time Is Linked To Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Holding the head and neck in the same position for hours at a time while watching television or playing computer games can strain the muscles and soft tissues of the mouth, especially the tongue, to the point where the mouth fully obstructs airflow during sleep. This causes breathing to stop altogether for anywhere from a few seconds to a full minute, up to hundreds of times a night. This disruption in sleep cycles causes sufferers to wake up feeling unrested and fatigued, which can lead to serious health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes.

In addition to causing sleep apnea, excessive screen time can also lead to other sleep disorders, including insomnia. This is because being constantly exposed to blue light from computer screens and smartphones have been shown to suppress the secretion of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is a hormone that promotes healthy sleep patterns by inducing feelings of sleepiness and relaxation. Without sufficient levels of this hormone being released, the body’s natural circadian rhythms are thrown off balance which can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to insomnia.

So, what can you do? Limit your screen time as much as possible! This should be easy to do during the hours you’re already asleep. However, if you find it difficult to fall asleep because you’re not ready to stop watching your favorite shows, try switching off your phone or television at least an hour before bedtime. This will allow your body to begin producing its own melatonin, which can be extremely helpful when falling asleep. If you still find yourself struggling to sleep with all that extra time on your hands, try reading a book or listening to some relaxing music instead. Any of these activities will keep you entertained without disrupting your sleep cycle. 

How To Reduce Your Child’s Screen Time

Replace your child’s screen time with healthier activities, such as reading or playing outside. You may also want to limit their time on social media, as they may spend a great deal of time aimlessly scrolling through their feeds and may not be able to sleep as a result.

You can also use phones as a distraction-free way to put your kids to bed. Set a timer to shut off the screens an hour before bedtime, and ask your kids to avoid checking their phones until morning. This will ensure they don’t stay up too late on their phones. It will also prevent them from waking up in the middle of the night to check their phones if they wake up from a bad dream.

By following these tips, you can reduce your child’s screen time and help them sleep better at night. 

To learn more about our services for sleep health, call us at (971) 339-0816 or visit the Sleep Health Partners office at 9370 SW Greenburg Rd, Suite 422 Rd Suite 422, Portland 97223.

Phone: (971) 339-0816



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