Technology and How it Affects Sleep


Briana Beebe, Herald Reporter

Like thousands of teenagers across America, I repeatedly find myself waking up with my phone right next to my face. Technology is addictive. Netflix, video games, texting, snapchatting, scrolling lazily through Instagram (probably stalking someone you talked to for three minutes in person)… It all adds up. And surprisingly, it’s affecting your sleep schedule.

If you’re like me, you could basically always use a nap. Personally, I’ve always thought that this was because of the stress of school, or because I wasn’t going to bed early enough. However, the truth is that part of this ongoing sleepiness is because of technology.

Melatonin is the hormone that runs the sleep cycle. The blue light that radiates from technology actually slows this melatonin down, making it harder to hit the hay. Researchers recommend (at least!) 30 minutes technology-free before bed. They also say that if you really want a deep sleep, charge your electronics outside of the room during the night.

I know this is hard to process. Most of us can’t even go a whole class period without compulsively checking our lock screens for notifications. How could we make it 30 whole minutes without playing Candy Crush?

It feels really good to delete social media for small periods of time. If you’re trying to veer away from the never ending snapchats, see how long you can last without them. And as crazy as it sounds, next time when you think of texting someone, call them!

According to, 72 percent of children between ages six to seventeen sleep with one (if not more) electronics in their bedroom.The texts, reminders, and alerts only contribute to the late nights. When you rest the amount your body really needs, you might find that you’re feeling more alert, focused, and energized for a new day. Blue light from screens can also penetrate the retina and can damage light-sensitive cells (creating eye strain).

There are countless reasons not to use technology before bed and it might seem like a fast and quick choice now, but it’s easier said than done.