Many people are in the habit of relaxing in front of their tiny screen each evening. Whether you are catching up with friends on social media, playing a game, or getting lost in the world of Google, you might find that your phone is a staple of your nightly routine. But did you know that using your cell phone right before you try to sleep can interfere with both the quantity and quality of your rest? Let’s talk about how that is the case and why sleep apnea sufferers need to be especially aware of this problem.
Blue Light and Your Sleep Cycle
There are a number of different forms of light, one of which is blue light. During daytime, blue light is a good thing. In fact, the sun emits lots of blue light, which stimulates the human brain to be alert. It even boosts serotonin, thereby having beneficial effects for emotional health. It also suppresses your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that causes drowsiness. When the sun goes down and your exposure to its blue light ends, you should naturally start to feel tired as your body begins to produce more melatonin.
Blue light is wonderful — but only at certain times. Unfortunately, electronic devices emit blue light. They can interfere with your body’s circadian rhythm. In general, people who use their devices at night tend to stay awake later and feel more tired in the morning.
Cell Phones and Sleep Interruptions
Blue light is not the only means by which your cell phone might be interfering with your sleep. Many people do not set their phone to silent at night. Even if your device is on vibrate, keeping it next to your bed while you sleep may allow it to wake you up, even if it’s just for a few seconds at a time. Such interruptions can interfere with the overall quality of your sleep.
What You Can Do
Sleep apnea sufferers need to be especially aware of how electronic devices can affect sleep. After all, your condition is already disrupting your sleep cycle. The late bedtimes and sleep interruptions caused by cell phones may exacerbate your daytime tiredness and other symptoms.
How can you reduce your phone’s influence on your sleep cycle? Here are a few tips:
- Try not to use your device in the last two hours before bedtime.
- Do not keep your phone in your bedroom.
- If you cannot resist the urge to use your phone in the evening, make sure its blue light filter is on. You could also try using blue light-blocking glasses.
- Get some sunlight during the day to help your body adopt a healthy circadian rhythm.
Cell phones and sleep don’t get along very well. Fortunately, by diligently using your sleep apnea treatment and keeping your phone in its proper place, you may be able to get the high-quality rest that your body needs.
Meet the Sleep Apnea Expert
Dr. Keith Hollinger is a dentist with decades of experience. He has completed extensive training in dental sleep medicine. If you are struggling with sleep apnea and want to learn more about how you can improve the quality and quantity of your rest, he would be happy to speak with you. Contact our office at 860-430-5687.