Is your smartphone ruining your sleep?

Alixandra Caole Vila (Philstar.com) - September 21, 2016 - 3:42pm

MANILA, Philippines - It's already past midnight. And while your family is already snoring their night away, you are lying on your bed playing games on your smartphone. It may be a hard habit to break, but browsing your phone at night is a terrible idea.

Sealy, the preferred mattress brand of top international hotel chains, recently launched its first premium Sleep Boutique in Shangri-La Plaza. Dennis Tan, Sealy Asia's Regional Sales Manager shared that one of the most common causes of sleep disorders is your electronic devices such as your smartphone.

"In a world where smartphones play an important role in our everyday lives, it has in fact taken over our sleep as well. Playing with your smartphones before bedtime is harmful to our sleep as it produces light which suppresses melatonin – a kind of hormone which helps regulate our body clock and getting it in sync for bedtime," he said in an email interview.

Exposure to light or to darkness is a great factor in determining the quality of one's sleep. The light that your electronic device emits confuses your body. As a result, your brain mistakens the artificial light for natural sunlight and your body stops releasing melatonin.

National Sleep Foundation said melatonin is a natural hormone that is activated at night as the natural sun goes down. Melatonin makes you feel less alert. Therefore, giving you a more relaxing sleep.

The light from your electronic devices disturbs your natural sleep cycle, making it harder to fall and stay asleep.

According to WebMD, the average amount of sleep an adult require is between 7.5 – 8 hours. Although some people can function on just 6 hours of sleep, some need 9 hours of sleep to feel fully rested. 

READ: How much sleep does your body need as you age?

So what happens when you do not get the much needed sleep your body requires? Not only will you feel lethargic or irritated the next day, long term effects of lack of sleep include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack and heart failure.

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