How many of us end up falling asleep with the TV on? Technology has advanced faster and further in recent years, which brings us to one conclusion……technology is everywhere. Which leads to the question how does technology affect our health? This is a question we rarely ask ourselves. The smallest amount of ambient lighting can affect your sleep. Poor sleep has also been considered a factor when it comes to a poor diet and obesity, and overall energy and mood. A new study done by the neuroscience department at The Ohio State University in Columbus suggests that soaking in the glow of your TV, smart phone or living room lights late into the night may put you at risk for depression and increase brain stimulation.
Apart from ruining your sleep, the research adds to growing evidence in both animals and people, that exposure to even dim lights at night can lead to all sorts of negative health consequences. Which includes breast cancer, sleep disorders and weight gain.
With even a small amount of ambient light at night, the body might release the wrong amount of melatonin, or melatonin might get produced at the wrong time, leading to any number of problems.
Neurologist Phyllis Zee, director of the Sleep Disorders Program at Northwestern University in Chicago explains “They’re all somehow related,” “and perhaps melatonin helps explain why there is this very strong relationship between depression, sleep, and circadian rhythms, as well as obesity and metabolism.”
“Light affects so many biological systems,” she added. “Light is a very powerful drug for the brain.”
There are concerns for people falling asleep in front of the computer or TV, which may diminish your overall sleep time. In addition to lowering the actual number of hours spent sleeping, it also apparently diminishes the quality of the sleep. The flickering light from a TV inhibits relaxation.
TV relaxes us or so we think it does but it may be too stimulating for your mind to unwind. Watching TV takes even more brainpower, since it requires some interaction instead of unwinding. In order to relax, try shutting them down or off before you go to bed; it may help you sleep better in the long run.
Remember these points
- Exposure to dim lights when it should be dark may contribute to depression.
- Light exposure at the wrong times of day has been linked to all sorts of health problems.
- To boost your mood, it might help to give yourself some solid hours of true darkness at night. (Dark Shades, curtains)
To learn more about how television affects your sleep please follow the link: