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Day 4

Sleep Lesson: Power Down for Better Sleep


Scrolling through social media before bed? Binge watching your favorite series until you fall asleep? You could be robbing your body of its natural hormone production and tricking your mind into staying awake well past your natural bedtime.


One of the most simple, yet important ways technology affects us is through stimulation. When we are constantly bombarded by social media updates or let ourselves wander from one Instagram account to the next, we are feeding our minds with endless activity, the opposite of what you want to be doing before bed. Not only are we increasing neural synapses through this stimulating activity, the electronic device itself is also working against us. Our electronic screens emit an artificial blue light that passes through our retina into the hypothalamus and delays the release of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone that increases as the sun sets and light dims. This way of winding down for sleep at night is causing us to stay up later on a consistent basis, rewiring our internal clocks. Were actually causing ourselves to have a delayed sleep phase syndrome.


Create an electronic free environment before bed that feels realistic to you. If you need to work on a paper from your laptop at night or really want to watch an episode of your favorite show, try and call it quits at least 30 minutes before bedtime, allowing yourself to unwind and settle into a bedtime routine.   The earlier in the evening the better, but start by setting realistic expectations for yourself and you will soon find that those 8am classes won’t be so hard to get to.


To alter the blue light setting on your iPhone:

1. Open settings

2. Scroll to the Display and Brightness section

3. Tap on “Night Shift”

4. Adjust your settings as desired


To alter the blue light setting on your Android:

1. Open the Gear icon

2. Under settings, tap Display

3. Select Night Light

4. Adjust your settings as desired


You can also adjust these settings on your laptop or PC.


Try working both mind and body sleep conducive pre-bedtime activities into your nightly routine:

Mind: meditation, reading a non-school book, journaling

Body: warm bath or shower, stretching, light snack, warm milk or herbal tea